Tuesday, September 03, 2013

I Quit My Day Job

When I was 27 or so and naive, I posted something to a writing listserv that stated I didn't want to become a millionaire. I just wanted to make enough money writing to quit my day job. My comment received a personal e-mail from a writer who informed me, "Most writers will never be able to quit their day jobs. Sorry."

This post is dedicated to that writer.

It took me 20 years and a lot of wrong turns, but last week I turned in my two-weeks' notice. In the days that followed, I tried to explain to a large number of people, one at a time, exactly where I was going.

"I'm going home," I would tell them. "To write."

This brought a puzzled, frowny response. To write? What does that even mean? I then started handing out my business card, which has a picture of my book, but I'm not really leaving my day job because I sold my first novel to Simon & Schuster. I wish writing paid so much that one book allowed for the dismissal of a day job.

Oh. Maybe that was what that writer meant when I was 27 and naive!

You see, there's this thing called Elance. In 2011, I discovered it and my life changed forever. If you write...if you design...if you program--if you do any number of things quickly AND well, Elance is your friend. Elance, I'm pretty sure, will allow you to eventually quit your day job.

You know you want to click and see.

Anyway, I can't say it's something anyone can do. But I can say that starting September 16, I will wake up, boot up my laptop, and write. It's what I've been doing to the tune of thousands of bucks since 2011...and it's something I'm going to do until my fingers fall off, I guess. I can't say it's only Elance...it's Elance and a few dozen connections I've made through jobs I've landed through Elance. It all comes together somehow. And hopefully now that I am doing it full-time, I can spend my fun time writing fiction.

I am a writer. And I'm proof that writers CAN quit their day jobs.