Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)

Something dramatic happened to me today, which necessitates a change in my blogging schedule -- and my life schedule.

I got laid off.

It's not as terrible as it sounds, at least not right now, and I can't really talk more about that, because the situation and my options are still fluid.  I can only say that I have built my life on several layers of buffers.  (Buffers are good. Buffers are very very good.)  And as a result, I'm in a strangely unique position:

I am now a full time writer/blogger, like it or not.

Whoa, yeah, that's right, I really am.  And furthermore because of the buffers, I never have to not be that.  Sure, if I don't start making more money at writing a few years down the line, it won't be pretty... but even if not, I won't have to stop being a full time writer.  At least not in the foreseeable future.  (The unforeseeable future is, you know, unforeseeable.)

And that's the strangely unique part: Right now I have incredibly high motivation to get serious about making money at writing... but I still don't have to.  Which means I can still write what I want, and still be patient.  I still get to experiment and have learning experiences, but they will mean a heck of a lot more, and that means I'll learn more.

I was going to write today about the way we look at writing in terms of doing it for money or love: the idea of hobbyists and amateurs and professionals and entrepreneurs.  For me, all four of those things just crashed into each other.  I'll talk about them later.

For now this is not changing my plans.  I'm a little distracted, so it will be a few days before I shift into a new schedule.  And then I basically just plan to shift what I'm already doing into a higher gear.

I was doing 20 hours a week, I want to get up to 40 hours a week by November.  The blog effort will be about the same as I'm doing now, but I will accelerate my writing schedule on the backlog of books. I now not only hope to get Devil in a Blue Bustle done, but also get a good start on The Man Who Stepped Up.

I might even do Nanowrimo.

But right now I get to be The Dude, and we all know The Dude Abides.

See you in the funny papers.

 A Round of Words in 80 Days Update

This Segment's Progress:

Sunday Day 14 - 180 minutes
Monday Day 15 - 233 minutes
Tuesday Day 16 - 60 minutes

(See others who updated their progress today: ROW80 Linky.) 


jnfr said...

Congratulations! I hope this works out very well for you.

T.K. Marnell said...

I was unemployed for the first eight months of this year, and while the daily helpings of Top Ramen got old quickly, I feel like I grew eight years as a writer during that time. It's a good thing you had the foresight to save up such a substantial emergency fund, so maybe you won't have to go crawling back to the cubicles like me :p Best of luck!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks Jennifer! Seriously hoping on it myself.

TK: It's not a substantial emergency fund, it's trickles here and trickles there, a lifestyle and infrastructure suited to low income, and generous family members willing to bite the bullet to support me.

The hard part is that when I apply for unemployment a little ways down the line, the COBRA insurance will take every penny of it.

Emily said...

Sorry to hear that you were laid off, but it's fantastic that you're in such good spirits about it, and have such a good plan laid out for yourself. Best of luck with it!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Emily.

I suppose the good spirits comes from having worked in a hostile and dysfunctional work-culture for so long. For the past couple years I've been working in a nice little sheltered area of it, but that doesn't change your awareness of the fact you work in a snakepit.

And yeah, if they offered my job back to me tomorrow, I'd take it. It's a helluva satisfying job where you get to do real good for people. But those jobs are rare.

But I'm think the fates are telling me something with this: It's time.

Anonymous said...

That's an incredibly exciting situation to be in. I hope you do manage to become a financially viable writer and that the journey is an exciting one for you.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Cate!

Steph Beth Nickel said...

All the best on your new adventure. Look forward to hearing great things.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think this is one of those "when a door closes, a window opens" things, isn't it? I'm sorry it happened to you, but I think you're going to handle this change really well--you're very organized in your approach and very goal-oriented.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Steph!

Elizabeth: thanks, and yeah, I've been looking over my shoulder at that window for a long time, and it just never seemed like a good time to open it.