On June 10th I am giving up my traditional day job to focus on writing. I want to write more often but also expand the genres in which I publish.
This day has been at least three years in the making, if not a lifetime. To do this, it was important that I prepare a ‘strategic plan.’ It outlines my goals for production, marketing, and diversification. I want to write more often, increase my output, and try new genres. For me, I know I will not become a more prolific author if I have a day job that takes upwards of 60 hours a week.
So how did I prepare for this? There were three things I needed to figure out:
What was I willing to sacrifice: Doing without my regular salary is going to change things, a lot! I had to look at lifestyle choices and determine what do I need/we need and what can we live without, because for the short term… there will be a lot of ‘without’.
Develop contingency plans: I am not going to be able to quit working for other people cold turkey, but I have transferable skills. I’ve freelanced as a writer, editor and PR advisor before and I can supplement my income with that. As soon as I decided to make the jump I let my past clients know of my availability.
Cultivate your network: These are the people who will cheer you on and keep you sane on this journey. They will also make sure you leave your office and see daylight. They will buy you that Frappuccino when you are pinching your pennies. Let them help you.
Believe me, I still freak out about it every few days, but I’m trying to remember that I prepped for this. I have overwhelming support from friends, family and work colleagues. My mama always said if you don’t try – then you’ve already lost.