This post is a bit off cycle because I wanted it to come out on a Wednesday. This exact Wednesday, in fact.
Because today, March 1, 2023, is my last day at my day job. As of today, I am giving up the luxuries of a steady paycheck, employer sponsored healthcare, 401(k) contributions, and corporate-mandated business casual polo shirts. (Okay, I won’t miss the polo shirts that much.)
I have wanted to give my full attention to my writing career for some time now and we’ve finally put the pieces together to make that happen. It’s mainly involved saving up quite a bit of money and no longer having kids at home to deal with on a daily basis (although four-year college seems like a rather expensive sort of daycare).
Am I excited? Yes!
I’ve been working in my day job in some form or another for the last twenty-five years. Right out of college, in fact. It’s been a richly rewarding experience that I still have a lot of passion for, but I know that I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t give the author life a real try. That and twenty-plus years of working under the corporate yoke was really getting to me.
Looking back, writing was something that was very instinctive from a young age. I really enjoyed creative writing assignments from school. If you’ve been reading my stuff for any time, you know that Julia and I co-wrote a sword and sorcery story in middle school. (No, it will never see the light of day again.) The motivation was always there, but the idea that I might write for a living honestly never occurred to me. Chalk it up to being the child of immigrants, I think,
Writing part-time for the last seven years has been eye-opening. I’ve learned how to self-publish. I’ve learned a lot of about traditional publishing, and continued to learn more as Ebony Gate barrels towards publication. I’ve learned how to take apart my own writing, and put it back together so that it’s better than when it started. I’ve met amazing people who are all working towards the same goals, all making wonderful art and putting it out there in the world. The writing community is an amazing place and as all the podcasts say, this is a wonderful time to be a writer.
Am I scared? Heck, yes!
Like I said, more than two decades at this. I’m in a groove. (Some would say more of a rut.) And the nice thing about a groove (especially deep grooves) is that you don’t need to worry about steering. You just keep your foot on the gas and it takes you where you’re going.
Notice, it doesn’t necessarily take you where you want to go. And that was the deciding factor for me. As I look ahead, what do I want to be? Which path has more room for growth, more possibility for fulfillment and happiness? I appreciate that many years of working has given me the privilege and the opportunity to do this. I intend to make the most of my time in these next two years to build my author business as much as I can.
When I hand in my keys today and leave my workplace, it will be bittersweet. I really do love my job, and I love the people I work with (even if they drive me crazy at times.) But the time has come for me to move on and chart a new path. Well, not totally new, I’ve been making in-roads for the last few years. I’m just going to strap on my running shoes and really get motoring now.
2023 is going to be busy. I intend to keep my foot on the gas the whole way.