Last September I did something kind of...crazy? daring? idiotic?... For now let's just go with *unusual*. I quit the job that I'd had for nearly thirteen years, the one I'd taken right out of college, to pursue my dream of becoming a novelist.
I've never been published; I haven't even written much since high school. So how can I be sure that I can make a career of it? Obviously I can't. But just to *try*, to say that I've tried, was enough for me. So, I decided to focus on writing full time with the goal of producing at least one novel to my own, personal satisfaction.
Thus resolved, my wife, Jody, and I crunched the numbers, agreed on the ground rules, and I resigned. I explained to my superiors and colleagues that 'it's kind of like a sabbatical', because that sounded better than 'I may be having a mid life crisis', and I hit the road.
Now, nine months later, I've got a lot to reflect on and a lot of decisions to make before I run out of time and money. In fact, I've got so much to reflect on that I've decided to finally start writing it down and sharing the experience with people.
Why do I think anyone will care? Well, they might not, but after talking with a lot of people about this (mostly poor suckers who were just trying to make small talk when they asked what I do for a living) I've confirmed that--wait for it, it's shocking--nearly *everyone* seems to have the urge to do something like this. And, also unsurprisingly, most are reluctant to try it because it is, ostensibly, a stupidly risky thing to do.
And so people are usually supportive--some very enthusiastically. I totally get that it's not always because they really think it's a good idea, or that they think I can do it. It's because they're excited to see what will happen.
Will one of the most exciting decisions of my life, one that's perhaps representative of the secret ambitions of others, also end up being the worst? A financial disaster that's a great example of why people can't just haul off and do something as reckless as this?
Will it simply be a break that allowed me to spend time with my family and forget about my normal career for awhile, even if the writing itself doesn't pan out and I go back to work in software development?
Or will I somehow pull it off? Write something that's marketable, or at least promising enough to give me reason to stick with it, so that I can tell people that I'm a professional novelist?
Whatever happens, however things work out, I'll keep you posted. I'm awfully curious myself.