My whole life, I’ve always had “jobs” and never a “career.” I showed up for work at roughly the time I was supposed to be there (more often later than not, if I’m honest), I concentrated on my “job” or what I was supposed to do while I was there, and when quitting time rolled around, I turned off the light, clocked out, and was done.
I never brought my work home with me. I never needed to ~ I worked for a paycheck, nothing more. Through the years I’ve had a variety of different jobs with a wide range of employers, but none of them were ever what I really wanted to do.
So I wrote on my own time, and for a while, that worked. Even when I started out self-publishing, I was still able to make time for writing and marketing because I didn’t have many books to my name. When I started to work with publishers to get my books in electronic format, the burden of the “publishing process” was taken off my shoulders. No longer did I have to make time to create cover art, or lay out book files, or do anything more than my usual level of self-editing. Someone else did all that for me.
But I’m someone who likes to retain control, and often I feel like I can do something better myself. I know the books I wrote better than anyone else can possibly ever know them (with the exception of a few crazy fans ~ you know who you are!), and I know how best to market them. Not just ads and promotions but cover art, layout, the whole nine yards. I began to drift toward self-publishing again.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that running my own publishing company, in which I do 80% of the work (and thanks to Drew, Loukie, and Willem for the other 20%!), began to eat into the little time I had not at the day job. Something had to give, and unfortunately that turned out to be my own writing.
This past January, I reached a breaking point. I was stressed beyond belief ~ I lost both my long-term companion animals within days of each other (two loving cats, Jelly and Jono, whom I’d loved for 14 years), and I’m still reeling from the loss. That’s when I decided life’s too short not to do what I really love.
What I’ve always loved.
At the end of this month, June 30, I will quit the day job. I’ll work for myself, focusing on my writing and publishing through JMS Books, finally doing what I’ve always dreamed. Whether it will work out or not, I don’t know. It’s a scary step, to be sure. But if I don’t take it now, I’ll always wonder what might have been.
Fifteen days and counting. Woo!