It's been a little over two months since I left my job to become a full time author.
It's still hard to believe that I actually went through with it. I don't regret my choice. It was time to leave my last job for a variety of reasons. I don't have any interest in going back, although the thought of a steady paycheck does weigh on my mind as I look at my dwindling savings and consider all the expenses required to produce this book.
It's not a bad lifestlye, though. I'm learning to get by on less. I have loads of time to devote to writing and I can set my own schedule. So no longer any concern over writing late into the evening. I can work when I feel my most productive and do other stuff when I'm not. It actually feels pretty natural to me now, not having a schedule.
When I first embarked on this enterprise I planned to have a daily routine. Wake up by 10 AM, full breakfast, maybe gym, then social media etc... That has not worked out for me so well. But having a rigid schedule never worked very well for me. In spite of my erratic schedule and bingeing on Netflix, I have completed the first draft of an entire novel in the span of less than three months. That's not bad.
I love the feeling of freedom and independence. I can do whatever I want whenever I want-- the only limitation is my income. It's also a great motivator. I quit my job, in part, to get out of my comfort zone and into the unfamiliar wilderness of an uncertain future. For the first time in a long time I don't know what the rest of my life is going to look like. There's no guarantee that I'll be able to find work when I need to. Although in today's economy any job should be considered far from secure.
Embracing uncertainty isn't for everyone-- but we should be cautious, or at least skeptical, in embracing certainty. Comfort and security are in some respects, the death of opportunity and innovation. How many times have you wanted to make a change (new job, new city etc) only to be held back by the bland comfort of something that's familiar? It's far too easy to get stuck. It's far too easy to put dreams on hold because they seem impractical or we have too little time to pursue them.
I'm not saying everyone should write a book. From my experience so far, this endeavor has made me feel much more alive and purposeful. Humans did not evolve in a world with 9-5 schedules and grocery stores. The brain exists to deal with daily life-or-death questions of survival and has done it successfully for millions of years. Embracing a bit of that primal nature, even if it's just through finding new challenges, is the spice that makes life exciting, vibrant and aware.
I don't know how my books end until I write the last words. I won't know how my creative journey ends until it happens. Will I go back to work? Will my sales take off? Will I write science fiction? I don't know. That's both scary and kind of awesome.
Mike Bode is the author of The Queen of Lies, the first installment in the ongoing series, Architects of the Grand Design. His next book comes out September. Sign up for the mailing list for more info.
Mike bode is the author of The Queen of Lies, the first installment in the ongoing series, Architects of the Grand Design. His next book comes out October. Sign up for the mailing list for more info. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest . (You can also follow him on Goodreads and even Amazon)