Sunday, February 10, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I finally did it. I finally gave my notice at the day job.

I’ve been thinking about quitting work for a while. I first wrote about it in June 2009 at Prairie Chicks Write Romance, a group blog I once belonged to. I now have eight published novels with 2 more - so far - being released this year. I feel I barely have time, or energy, to write. When you add in the time required for promotional efforts – blogging, using Facebook and Twitter, plus learning to use Goodreads and other social media – there aren’t enough hours. There have been callouts for submissions, that I’d wanted to try for, or guest blogging opportunities that I couldn’t take advantage of simply because of lack of time. And it’s not just the time. It’s the mental energy and focus. I feel like I’m giving the best of myself to the day job. It’s time to transfer that energy to my writing and to the promotion of my books.

This is not a decision I made lightly. I’ve enjoyed my job, and I like the people I work with. But the time is right to leave. My daughters are both grown up and away from home. My husband is retiring after 30 years at his job, and we want to be free to do some travelling. The office where I work was moved to a different part of the city last summer, and I went from a commute of 5 minutes to one of 30 minutes, when the weather is good. When it’s not so good, like during the snowstorm we had the other day, it can take an hour and a half. I’m so over it.

But nobody likes to give up a steady paycheck, however humble it may be. I’ve worried about that a lot, and that has kept me at the day job until now. I wish I could say I could make just as much from selling my books as I do from my job, but so far that hasn’t happened. I’m hoping that with more time, I’ll have more opportunity to get myself known, and even more important, I’ll be able to write that big, break-out book.

But before I make too many plans, I have some hurdles to jump. Like finding and training my replacement.

Normally, finding your own replacement isn’t something an employee is expected to do. But I work for a small professional association, and they rely on me to help with all kinds of things. Before Christmas I wrote the help wanted ad, put it in the newspaper, went through the resumes, composed the interview questions, and picked what I thought were the best candidates. I also helped interview several people for my position. We came up with our first, second and third choices. We offered #1 the job and she accepted.

Unfortunately, by the end of the first day of training, she decided the job wasn’t for her. It had more to do with her own family/work situation then with the job, but in any event she left. So we decided to contact our two other choices. Number two already had another job. I started thinking I was going to be at my job forever. The thought of going through the whole interview process again nauseated me.

Fortunately, number three was available and happy to take the job. Hallelujah!  After just a few days of training, things seem to working out fine. I can finally see the end of the tunnel!

So, I’m looking forward to devoting myself more fully to writing and to see where I can go from here. Wish me luck!

If you're a writer, have you ever thought of leaving the day job to write full-time? If you're a reader, have you ever fantasized about saying goodbye to the 9 to 5? What would you do if money were no object and you could do anything you wanted?