I’ve taken the plunge. I’ve leaped off a cliff with the intention of designing and eventually constructing a parachute on the way down. Wisdom? No. Charisma? Maybe. Dexterity . . .
Wait now I’m just naming D&D attributes. Sorry, I’m back.
I quit my job to become a full-time writer, is what I’m saying. It’s funny, what I’ve learned about saying that particular sentence back there. It’s an easy way to gauge someone’s personality, and its utterance reveals a bucketload about the person that responds. It’s actually pretty funny. I’ve said it in a room full of people and gotten everything from anger to excitement to pity.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised by this. I knew when I made that fateful decision that it was a risky one, both financially and socially. I mean, the economy isn’t exactly wearing its Sunday best, and quitting a stable job is a terrifically, excitingly bad idea, most especially to pursue a career with the stability of a professional Blackjack player.
I am lucky, and that’s made the decision easier. I’m lucky to have a fiancee who’s not only willing to support me while I try this noble experiment, but in fact actually suggested it. I’m lucky that as a relatively young man I have a retirement fund I can plunder to pay for a wedding. I’m most especially lucky that I live in a time where I can stay at home and write all day and get paid for it. In a time before the internet, the only way to do that was to be one of the top percent of successful, popular novelists. Now, in this time, being able to apply to literally every freelance writing job posting on planet Earth makes things easier. Not easy, Heaven forfend and Hell no, but easier. Possible, anyway.
Not having kids or mortgage helps too.
The decision was necessary. More than necessary, if there’s a word for that. You think a writer would have one of those.
Working a job that fluctuated every week, without warning, between fifty hours and eighty makes writing impossible. Impossible. I say it a third time to appease the Old Gods: Impossible. Did I write? Yes. Did I even publish a book? Why yes sir I sure did. In nine years, I produced one book fit to print. An accomplishment to be sure, but no career. No possibility of career.
So I begin the noble experiment. I began it yesterday, as a matter of fact. If things don’t work out over a significant period of time, than I’ll be happy to grab another day job and write on the side. After all, my complaint for nine years has been thus: If only I had more time. More time and I’d be Stephen King, more time and I’d be a proper scotch-drinking, bathrobe-wearing, writer. Time!
Now I have the time. If I can’t put my typewriter where my mouth is, than I’ve been full of shit for nine years. If I can’t do it, than I know that I was just using time as an excuse to not write. And if that happens, then I got another day job and write on my off hours, knowing once and for all that I didn’t need time, I just needed to have my ass kicked a little.
Ah, gentle readers, but if it does work.
If it does . . .