Quitting by Default

Back in February Michelle and I once again went on the Jonathan Coulton Cruise Crazy cruise. JCCC is a little like a convention, just on a cruise liner. There are panels, shows, even a game room, and one of the impromptu panels was on the topic of “quitting”. Quitting, as defined by the panel, is the act of giving up what most people would consider your “normal life”, the nine to five day job, in order to pursue something else. That “something else” was a bit varied considering the panel, which had on it a Christopher Badell of Greater Than Games (creator of the most awesome card game Sentinels of the Multiverse), Joel Watson of Hijinks Ensue, a few artists of the musical variety, and a few people who decided to go into business for themselves. They offered up their stories, the struggles and successes, and their suggestions and advice for anyone else who wanted to quit.

At the time the idea was interesting. What would it be like to not have a day job, to be able to write and focus on writing in particular? The part of my brain firmly rooted in fantasy thought it would be a great idea. The practical side of me pointed out to the fantasy side that having spending money is a pretty neat thing too and that, at least for a while, spending money would be in short supply if I decided to go the writing route. The fantasy side considered this, thought about the books and games and time out with friends and agreed with the practical side and I stopped really thinking about it.

Then I got laid off last Friday and the fantasy side blew a huge raspberry at my practical side.

Now I find myself jobless. Technically today is day three sans employment but Monday was Connor’s birthday and Michelle and I took the day to spend with him, which we would’ve done had I still been gainfully employed, so I’m really only counting today as day two. So far things have been going well. I picked up Goodly again, my project from last year’s NaNoWriMo, and I’m in the process of editing/re-writing it. The content, in general, was good when considered as bones for a finished work and so I’m tightening it up and really focusing on the tone. So far in the last two days I’ve reworked about eight thousand words. At the end of November Goodly wasn’t complete, so we’ll have to see how I do with finishing the unwritten bits (which need at least thirty thousand more words to complete the first in the two-book arc). After that, plan out the next book in the series that Goodly/Kindly will begin while restarting the Janus project from a few years ago. I also need to start looking into freelance writing work but I need to build up a bit of a portfolio first.

I’m still going to look for a day job. One, having only one income stream from my wife makes me nervous because I’m not a person who is really into the idea of putting all his eggs into one basket. Two, I really like to have spending money (and, you know, being able to also contribute financially to the success of my family, that’s important too).

So, yeah, expect to be seeing more of me around these parts since this is pretty much my job for the time being.

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One Response to Quitting by Default

  1. jfrieden says:

    You don’t need a portfolio to start freelance writing, unless you’re looking for a specific kind of writing gig. Just jump in there. Cruise Craig’s List and job sites. Also, you might consider joining Linked In where you might have some friends willing to endorse you for your skills there. Plus there are hundreds of groups there for writing. You might find a connection that could lead to some freelance opportunities or, heck why not, a full time job.

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