I missed my one year review post a few days ago. It’s been one year since I went all in to pursue my writing full-time. Am I rich yet? Nope. Was it a successful year? Absolutely.
It was a difficult adjustment for me. I found it hard to justify doing something I enjoy as a job. For the first few months I didn’t get much writing done as I found excuses to help everyone out ‘since I wasn’t working anyway.’
Another difficulty was coming to grips with my new tiny income. We all like to boast that we don’t define ourselves by our income, but we do. At first, I’d accept every payment I received from writing with sarcasm. I’d say the dollar amount and follow it up with a belittling statement like that should buy a cup of coffee or I worked hard to be able to afford that half bag of groceries.
In between all this we bought a house and moved six apartments as my adult kids moved in to share that house. There were a lot of distractions. A year later, there are still a lot of distractions. I now expect that there will always be distractions.
Some really good highlights: being a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist, traveling to NYC to be on Hour of the Wolf with Jim Freund and taking over Space and Time magazine. A few months ago I finally hit my stride and I’ve been submitting—and selling!— poetry and prose.
It’s been a good year. Whenever something is going well, I think it’s time to go in and make it better. Here are my plans for next year:
We are intentionally reducing our income. Ryan has had a fantastic job making big checks but he had to work long, intense hours. He was often too exhausted for his own writing and voice work. He also didn’t have a lot of time left over for the magazine.
At the beginning of this month he moved to a part-time schedule. All our bills will still be paid, but we are sacrificing the luxury of expendable income for dreams. We’re looking at other ways to boost our income that align with our goals.
So far, this is working. Ryan has been able to write and submit several pieces already. He’s been able to focus on the magazine and is working on the audio edition. He finally had the time to get a wisdom tooth removed. He’s not exhausted or stressed anymore.
These things are good. We hope to move to where our focus is on quality of life over stuff. That’s been our goal for awhile—simplify, create and enjoy.
What else is there?