Quitting the day job, two weeks in


“Don’t quit your day job” has to be the advice most often given writers (right after “Sit down, shut up and write”), and for the best of reasons. But I’ve never been good at listening to reason. 

Mean bossToday I began my third week of working for myself, which basically consists of a lot of bitching about my boss (crazy woman at right), who keeps telling me to sit down, shut up and write. Seriously, it’s been a much smoother transition than I expected. 

Some observations: I start work a lot earlier these days. I used to roll into the Missoulian about 20 past 9, reasoning that since I worked late every day and never took a lunch break – well, you get the picture. Now, I start as early as 8 some days, and even when I start later, I can’t wait to be at my computer.

The days have been pretty easy to structure. I try to do at least four hours of writing a day, after which my brain goes to mush. I write first thing, before the mush stage. Afternoons are for editing and figuring out all of the *&%#! promotional stuff that’s part of writing these days.

I’d looked forward to being done by 5 each day, something that never happened at the newspaper. That’s been surprisingly hard to achieve, especially on days when Scott is traveling. I think I worked until 10 one night my first week. Overall, I’ve accomplished more in the last two weeks than in the last two months. Very gratifying. 

Sleepy NellThe downside? No paycheck. Let’s just say those lovely afternoon lattes at Break Espresso are largely a thing of the past. And it’s probably time for me to get re-acquainted with the library in terms of feeding my book addiction. ’Nuff said.

Mostly, I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to do this. Big shout-out to my endlessly supportive partner, Scott. And to Nell, the office dog – apparently my writing puts her to sleep.


Filed Under: Writing

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