So, I’ve got big news to announce on the blog today. I’ve been sitting on my hands (figuratively) for several weeks, trying to work out the best way to approach this announcement and have been putting off writing anything because I wasn’t sure how to articulate it. Much like the early stages of a pregnancy, I feel like making it public might somehow put a jinx on it. And in some ways the news only feels legitimate when there is something concrete that goes with it; an artefact of some sort to show people that it’s true (like posting a photo of a baby’s first ultrasound).
But I don’t have any artefacts. No black and white image of a developing little human. Mainly because the announcement is not that we’re having another baby (well, I certainly hope I’m not pregnant at the moment, because I had an X-ray at the dentist yesterday). The only ‘proof’ I have of this major life change is that right now – at 11:38am on a Wednesday morning – I am still sitting in my pyjamas, sipping lukewarm coffee at the kitchen table. I’ve spent the last half hour listening to the Week 2 ‘ So You Want to Be A Writer’ podcast from the Australian Writers Centre while hanging a load of damp clothes under the tiny patch of sunlight still lingering in my backyard.
Why am I at home on a weekday? I’m not on sick leave. And I’m not on a ‘work from home’ day. Though I guess, technically, I am working from home. Because from now on, that’s where my head office is.Because… I finally did it.
I quit my day job.
And I’m going to be (I am?) a full-time writer.
Yep. That’s right. I quit my full time job so I could be a writer.
Hold whatever you’re thinking in your head for a second, because I want to share with you some of the responses that I received when I made this announcement to family, friends and workmates:
“What? Why?!” (Mum)
*stunned look, silence* (Dad)
“I’m so jealous.” (Sister)
“You handed in your resignation? What? Nooooo!” (Workmate, who heard my news during our afternoon coffee run)
“Why are we losing all the good people?” (Another workmate, who was probably just trying to make me feel better for leaving my stable, well-paid day job to pursue an unstable, uncertain, possibly unpaid future)
I am so proud of you!!!” (Fellow writer friend, via Watsapp)
The responses have ranged from A) outright disbelief and fear for my wellbeing (normally from family and workmates many years my senior, who can’t fathom why anyone would choose to walk away from a perfectly stable job into a career of uncertainty), to B) celebration (normally from friends who are also in the creative industry or who wish they could jump ship to the creative industry, or people who wish they’d also taken the time to write family memoirs, which btw, is partly what I’ll be doing), to C) envy and applause (normally from people in Group B) or people who just want to quit their day job).
I just want to make it very, very clear that this decision was not achieved in haste, nor was it considered lightly. It took many months of deliberation, discernment,
arguing and tears healthy discussion with my husband, and (financial) planning. How I (I should actually say ‘we’) came to this decision was quite a process, which I’ll cover in Part II of this post.
But as it’s been quiet on the blog front lately, I wanted to share with you why. I’ve mentioned this before, but often quietness in my digital world (i.e. this blog, social media) means chaos and a flurry of activity in the real world. The past few days/weeks have involved job interviews for new roles (several of which I rejected because they didn’t fit in with what I wanted to achieve; a topic for yet another blog post), negotiating contracts with new clients, phone calls with banks, accountants, solicitors, mobile phone providers, and –best of all– time spent with Mr 2 reading books, napping in the sun and eating pork chops. Or time spent with a pen in my hand and a Moleskine journal in my lap, or with my fingers rattling across the keyboard: writing, writing, writing.
I’m excited. And I’m terrified. But a new life awaits, and I’m taking you all with me on this crazy ride.
So… un-pause your thought/response. Which group did you fall into? A, B or C?