That’s right. A few weeks ago, I turned in my notice, and I am now a full-time author. EEEEEEEEEK! So exciting! So scary! I’ve been sitting on this for a while. I’ve been thinking and talking and praying about the possibility for a couple of years, and now I’m actually here. Crazy! I told family and friends before today, but this is the first time I’ve announced it on social media. I wanted it to be really official before I did, and yesterday was my last day at my old job. So here I am. At my computer. Just me (and the puppies, of course). And the new full-time author gig. Let’s do this!
So how do I feel? Oh my gosh, so many feelings bouncing off one another inside of me. I’m super excited to be able to write full-time. My goal is to be able to release a new book every eighteen months or so, but more often than that would be great! A good friend of mine has requested two per year. Whoa! I’ll try because that would be awesome, but I make absolutely no promises. I am also kind of freaked out because my old job was a really good gig with a nice, steady paycheck. I cringe internally every time I think about not pulling my own financial weight in my marriage. <-- By the way, none of that comes from my sweet hubs, who has been so supportive and encouraging. That is all me and my sense of responsibility and partnership. I also feel slightly…floaty? Untethered? Because there’s no handbook for this, no guaranteed plan or guide for how to do what I’m doing now. The key to being successful as an indie author, from everything I’ve read, is…just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. Yeah, that’s basically it. It’s a bit like the day I left college. I had lived in this place for the better part of four years, and then I was leaving forever to head out into a strange, new world. That’s just like what this feels like. I don’t feel nearly as untethered as I might have, though, because of the systems I’ve put into place for myself. Oh, you can bet your sweet shelfies that I pre-gamed the crap out of this endeavor. Wanna see?
The first thing I knew I would need was a schedule. None of this, “I’ll write when I feel like it” crap I’ve pulled in the past. This is your job now, missy! So here’s the schedule I’ve devised for myself:
-6am to 6:30am: Wake up, get dressed, let kids out
--Seeing as how I’ve spent entire weekends in my pajamas without brushing my hair or teeth, I knew I would need to make a conscious effort to transform into a human every morning, especially if I’m managing myself now.
-6:30am to 9:30am: Have breakfast and read
--Reading makes you a better writer and breakfast fuels the body and brain! And Dana needs caffeine.
-9:30am to 10:30am: Social media
--This includes posting, interacting online, and seeking out opportunities.
-10:30am to 11:30am: Writing!
-11:30am to 12:30pm: Lunch
--I know myself. If I don’t actually carve out time to eat when I’m working on a project, I just won’t do it.
-12:30pm to 5:30pm: More writing!
--My current goal is 7000 words per day. I don’t know what my usual rate is yet (one day does not a trend make), so that number is sure to change. I hope it ends up being higher.
So we’ll see how this goes. Time will tell what adjustments need to be made, and I’m flexible to that. The new schedule is not the end of it, though. I need to keep track of events and to-dos and all that good stuff, and it’s been totes-McGoats-scientifically proven that my brain sucks at remembering that kind of thing. There are tons of organizational apps and systems and whatnot out there, but I personally like Habitica. If you already know about this app or just left to go look it up, try and contain your shock that I’d gravitate towards a RPG-based organizer. <-- I’ll be doing a review on how I like it and make use of it within the next few weeks. So I’ve been plugging all my to-dos and recurring responsibilities and habits I want to keep up into Habitica and marking them off. I like well-designed systems that help ensure success, and this is a really good one.
So that’s my new life. Not gonna lie, it's been a really good first day, though I won't get my second chunk of writing in because I have a party (not mine) to help do. I’m all smiles now, though. And you know what makes it even better? The lovely sendoff I received from many, many people as my old life came to a close. I would be very remiss if I didn’t mention them now. So every single person I’ve told has been really lovely and congratulatory. At my old job, I sent an email out to a team with whom I’ve worked closely over the years. To this I expected maybe a handful of nice, generic responses. I expected wrong because every single one of them emailed, called, or both to wish me well. So, so many wonderful messages of encouragement! And then my sweet co-workers threw me a farewell/good luck lunch!
My friends are the best! Words cannot describe how grateful I am for them. I'm truly sad to see that chapter of my life close, but I'm also thrilled as this new one opens. Wish me luck!