It’s almost May, and that means I’ll have officially been a full time writer for four months. For four months, I’ve been pursuing my passion and goal of publication. To be clear: I haven’t made any money off this. I’m not published, and I don’t have an agent. But I’ve always wanted to take the leap into full-time writing.
Let’s take a trip down 2018, shall we?
In May 2018, my boyfriend of almost five years graduated law school. For the last three years, he’d been a full-time student. While he worked during the summer and did internships, I worked a part-time job in retail. I worked odd hours of the week, and never had a set schedule. When I was home, I worked on my writing, but I’m not going to lie: I was miserable.
I didn’t hate the retail job. I actually enjoyed it, and I loved all my coworkers. But I hated working in a retail setting, and working with customers became exhausting for my mental and emotional health. I dreaded going to work every day, and I was always anxious and nervous. On top of that, I had several health problems I was dealing with.
After graduation, my boyfriend got his first job and like me – he quickly became miserable. I won’t go into too much detail, but this prompted him to look for another job – and he got an offer. The job offer he received required us to move two hours away, to a new town neither of us had ever lived in. But after much discussion, we agreed that him accepting this job would be for the best.
By December, we both quit our jobs and moved two hours away. As miserable as I was at my retail job, I had been afraid to quit. The pay was okay, and I made commission. The commute was short. I loved my coworkers. Management was easy going and the job was fairly easy. When it was slow, I could read or write behind the counter. The pros far outweighed the cons in my mind.
But quitting the job was freeing, and it opened a door I’d been hoping for: full-time writing.
The boyfriend knew I’d always wanted this opportunity, and neither of us took it lightly. We had multiple discussion on finances, budgeting, saving, etc. you know, all the important things. But he was adamant that I take some time for myself. After all, I’d spent the last three years taking care of him while he was in school, and he was determined to do the same for me. (I am so lucky to have someone as supportive as him in my life, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.)
After we moved, we spent most of December getting the apartment in order and traveling for the holidays. It wasn’t until January that I finally sat down and began writing once again. At first, I was terrified. While I did love it, I was constantly worried about money. I found myself in a constant state of loving and hating my decision.
I loved not going to work. I loved that my “work” was getting up and writing every day. I loved having a lot of free time to myself. I loved getting to do whatever I wanted all day. I loved that I took this huge risk.
But I hated worrying about money. I hated checking my bank account every time I wanted to make a purchase, and try to justify if it was worth it or not. I hated feeling like I wasn’t earning or saving any money. I hated that people looked down on me for not working. For depending on my boyfriend. For taking a risk that might not pay off in the end.
It’s been four months, and I’ve learned to quiet those thoughts. While they do pop up frequently, it’s easy to silence them when I remember how much I love what I’m doing. Especially when I go to my boyfriend and double-check that everything is okay, that we’re still doing okay. I’m lucky that he assures me everything is fine. We love each other. We can pay the bills. I can keep doing what I love for now.
The most important thing for me is treating this like a full-time job, because in my mind, it is. I wake up the same time every day, sit down at my desk, and start working right away. I spend hours sitting in front of the computer. If I’m not writing my novels, I’m writing blog posts, or reading, or trying to keep myself in a creative mindset. I make sure to hit a word count goal every morning before I get up and do anything else with my day.
But not all days have been good. I’ve definitely had some days where all I’ve done is stay in bed and read, or play video games, or sleep the afternoon away. But I’ve tried my hardest to keep myself going, and to keep pushing towards my goal.
The first thing I wanted to do when we moved in was revise my novel, Forbidden, and I’m proud to say I accomplished that. I spent all of January and most of February revising it, and finishing what is now the third draft. It’s currently out with beta readers and I am awaiting their feedback. If all goes well, I’m planning to do one more round of revisions before sending it out to beta’s one last time, and then hopefully I’ll be able to begin to querying process.
The second thing I’ve wanted to accomplish is write at least three more books this year. I can proudly say I’ve written one more book – a YA Thriller. It needs a ton of work, but it’s a finished draft, at least. I have two more projects I want to work on that I’m outlining.
The third thing I wanted to do was start this blog, and I did that! Not only did I start it, but I’ve continued to post frequently and on a consistent schedule.
And as a non-writing related goal, since moving into a new place, I’ve really been taking the time to get organized and throw out/donate all sorts of things I didn’t need anymore. The move really has felt like a fresh start for myself and my boyfriend, and we’re both getting our lives in order.
Once I start querying Forbidden, I think I’ll be ready to go back to work. My ultimate goal right now is to really get that novel ready, so that while I’m querying I can use work to distract from the waiting.
I know this isn’t permanent. I will eventually go back to work, and I’m actually hoping to go back to school. But for now, I’m proud of myself for making this leap, and following my passions. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I don’t regret taking this chance. Not one bit.
XOXO – Devon