This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking Secret Identities! As in, the work we do on the side to make ends meet, partners helping to support us, and quitting the day job.
I’m fortunate that I was able to quit the day job – 18 years of a career as an environmental consultant – about 7 years ago. It was one of those things where the day job quit me: my team was downsized, I got laid off with affection and good severance pay, and I decided to try making a go of it writing for a living and NOT getting another day job. In truth, I was more than ready for that moment. At the same time, I kept waiting to make as much money from writing as I did from the day job (including the value of benefits), which was never quite happening. If I hadn’t been kicked from the nest, I might never have voluntarily left it.
That said, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. My husband has Parkinson’s Disease and is no longer able to work, so apart from a small retirement income and his social security payment, keeping us afloat is up to me. That reality has made me really hustle with my writing. Between self-publishing and traditional publishing, I’m now making what I was with the day job.
And I’m ever so much happier. Seriously, after having essentially two careers for over 20 years, it was such a relief to focus on just one. Plus, all the meetings and phone calls I have are about books and writing. It’s the best life!
I don’t do much work on the side. I do some author coaching and teach the occasional workshop – I’m considering doing more classes – but it’s important to me for the happiness quotient. I want writing and making books to be the priority. That’s what I quit the day job to have.