It’s been just over one full week since I started writing full-time, and I can say without exaggerating at all (okay, maybe a little) that my life has turned a huge corner for the better.
I debated calling this post ‘One Week of Fun-employment’, but decided to go in a different direction, because 1) I left my job purposely and with a detailed plan and, 2) Let’s be positive here, people. In my mind I’m not unemployed – on the contrary, I now have more work to do than I ever have before, because this is my dream, and I’d be doing myself the world’s biggest disservice if I used this new opportunity to sleep in or slack off.
I wanted to share this one week update so that all of you amazing people can get a better sense of what it is I’m doing every day – both if you’re just curious or if you’re considering doing something similar in the future. In this post, like my last two, I talk a lot about myself, even though I more generally try to use words like ‘we’ and ‘our’ in my other posts, so I apologize in advance for that, we will be back to normal soon.
So what’s this change been like?
First of all, leading up to the job jump – from telling my family a couple of months in advance, to telling my managers, to telling my colleagues and friends a few weeks before my last day, to the people who are kind enough to read this blog and saw my post last week – the reactions and support have been absolutely amazing, far beyond anything I could ever have imagined.
I’ve joked to a few friends over the past week that it’s a weird feeling, to not have done or accomplished anything yet, but still have people congratulating me and telling me how inspiring and brave they find this leap. I’m not crowing about myself here (or am I??), those are actual words people have used over and over in our conversations, and as I said I’m completely undeserving of them – I’ve accomplished approximately… nothing? But even so, it’s a vote of confidence that has muted and crowded out any apprehension or fear and left behind nothing but excitement. It really warms my heart and makes me feel great about myself (self-confidence, woo!).
Onto the first week (and I guess the first couple days of the second week, now) and the main thing I’ve noticed is how excited I am to go to bed every night (at 11pm instead of 1am now – no more procrastinating on sleep) so that I can wake up early and start the day. I’m sure this will fade over time as I run into tough stretches where I’m struggling to get work done, but for now weekdays and weekends have almost become one and the same (I almost said “one in the same” and boy would that have been a disaster). Weekdays are now just another day that I get to wake up and do what I want to do. Not to mention that the complete disappearance of Sunday Scaries is incredible.
I’m very disciplined from Monday-Friday, though, waking up early and getting in front of my desk before 8am every morning. And I know that right now all of my ex-colleagues (and probably my sister) are reading this thinking ‘There is literally a 0% chance that that is true’, but HERE WE ARE jerks, I TOLD you I was a hard worker. (This is very much directed at you, Annie and Max :-)).
Here’s a loose outline of my day (which, again guys, starts before 8am):
- 7:45am: Quick breakfast and plan out day in productivity journal
- 8am: Begin work on editing current draft of novel
- 9:30am: Go to the gym (going early helps my stay energetic throughout the day)
- 10:30am: Make a post-workout smoothie and continue editing
- 1-1:30pm: Small break to take care of chores like the dishes and/or vacuuming the insane amount of hair that Maisey sheds every day
- 1:30-4pm: Continue editing
- 4-5pm: Write blog posts, respond to comments, read my friends’ posts to see what they’re up to!
- 5-6pm: Designated reading time to make sure that I get some in every day even when I’m planning to go out that evening
- 6pm: This is when Sara usually gets home so I try to be wrapped up by now
And that’s pretty much it! Obviously it changes slightly day-to-day, and I’ve also worked at night a few times, but this is the general outline and it’s been working great so far. When the weather gets nicer I’ll probably leave the apartment in the afternoon to work outside or in a coffee shop / co-working space nearby. Seeing as the bulk of my day is taken up with editing/writing, blogging, reading, and going to the gym – all of which are things I absolutely love doing – it goes without saying that I couldn’t be happier at the moment.
And one change that I didn’t expect has been my increased desire to go out and spend time with my friends on weekday evenings, whether that means happy hour or some other, non-alcohol related, activity (just kidding – what’s a non-alcohol related activity?). Over the past 4.5 years I’ve loved going out, but during the week there was constantly a little voice in the back of my mind asking me, ‘Yo, shouldn’t you be writing?’ It was always an either-or situation – either I went out with friends, or I had time to write after work. I couldn’t do both. But now that writing is my main job and I don’t have a ‘second job’ competing for time when I finish the work day I’ve found myself itching to go hang out with friends every day, which is a hugely welcome change.
In conclusion, I’m loving every minute of this and am more determined than ever not to let this chance go to waste. The goal I’ve set for myself is to get an agent for the book I’m editing by November of this year, and if that doesn’t pan out, to publish it myself and see where we go from there. The more I delve into it, the more I feel that the story is great and destined to succeed – I can’t wait to get it out there for people to read.
Later this week (and next) I’ll be venturing out to do my first weekly tea tour of DC and writing a post about the current novel that I’m editing as I’d love to hear how other people go about editing their books. See you then!