I made a huge and exciting change last week: I left my day job.
Thanks to my incredibly supportive hubby, the decision was made in January and, as well as working out my notice, I’ve spent almost three months getting used to the idea and wriggling away from the fear of giving up a salary and retirement plan while still in my forties. But, as one of my favourite quotes says:
“A ship is safe in the harbor. But that’s not what ships are for.”
I wrote here about reasons for a writer to love their day job, but the truth is, despite pleasant people and an organisation I was proud to work for, the nature of my role was never a good fit for my interests and preferred work style. Sitting in a cube where I couldn’t even tell if it was daylight or dark outside also bothered me greatly. In the end, I saw I was withering, not growing.
So, what does this mean? My intentions are:
- Lots more time for writing, spread across both fiction and non-fiction.
- Turning my insights from The Serenity Project into practical steps to help others.
- More moving, more fresh air, and more real food.
- More reading time!
- Extra visits to see my family in England, and hopefully some other travel too.
- Less spending and more simply being.
But this gift of bandwidth to focus on what I love doesn’t mean there is limitless time; my personality type puts me in grave danger of thinking I can “do it all”. I know I can be my own worst boss and put horrible pressure on myself to meet arbitrary deadlines, set by me. So I won’t be sprinting to publish a novel every three months. I’ll be defending my priorities and not getting dragged into other people’s ideas of what I should be doing. And yes, I’m going to schedule my leisure time.
All that said, several readers have kindly mentioned they’re looking forward to the next Saffron Sweeting book. I’m currently re-reading the first three to make sure my consistency is watertight, but I’m happy to confirm work on a fourth will get underway very soon!