IWSG: Leap of Faith

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  It’s a way for insecure writers like myself give each other advice and encouragement.  Click here to see a full list of participating blogs.

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I recently made a huge leap of faith: I asked my job to let me drop to part time employment so I could spend more time writing.  It was a scary decision, but I know at least a few of my fellow insecure writers might be thinking about doing something similar.  So I want to share some of the steps I’ve taken to make this a little less terrifying.

  • Practice: I’ve been taking my writing seriously for at least the last five years.  I write a minimum of 6000 words a week (sometimes much more than that), so I already know how to treat writing like a job.
  • Help: I’ve hired an editor to help me clean up my short story series and prepare it for publication as an ebook (it should come out by the end of this year).
  • Comrades: I’ve joined a local writing group, the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group, a.k.a. GLVWG (pronounced Gliv-wig).  Through that organization, I’ve made friends—both beginners like myself and professionals working in the publishing industry—who give me real encouragement in what I’m doing.  If you’re not part of an organization like GLVWG, I suggest you join one.  You’ll be glad you did.
  • A Safety Net: This last one is key.  Over the past few years, I’ve set money aside in a special savings account, enough to cover my living expenses (including health insurance) for a prolonged period in case things do not go as planned.  This more than anything else keeps my fears in check because I know that even if I fail I will not end up starving and homeless.  The fact that I’m still working part time helps protect me financially as well.

It took me years to prepare for the day I walked into my boss’s office and asked to go part time.  Despite all my preparations, taking that leap of faith was still a scary experience.  I have no guarantee that my writing can support me financially.  I don’t know if I have the business sense to do what I’m trying to do.  I’m not even 100% sure this is what I want to do with my life.  All I know is that I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t try.

I hope you, my fellow insecure writers, found some of this useful.  If you did, please let me know, or if you have any other ideas on how to make this leap of faith less frightening, please share them in the comments below.

29 thoughts on “IWSG: Leap of Faith

  1. I made the leap thirteen months ago, although I chose to quit my job entirely. It was very scary and I only got the guts to do it by making strict deadlines for myself. I gave myself 6 months in which time I wanted at least one short story published in print and the first draft of my novel completed and then I would re-evaluate if I should be a full-time writer or go back to work.

    Well I did reach my goals and I’m still a full-time writer. It’s not easy and many people have questioned me (including myself) but the thing that stops me going back to job is how much happier I am now than thirteen months ago. If you can make that leap, even in baby steps, then go for it!

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    1. I gave thought to quitting entirely, but that was a bit too frightening for me, at least at this point. Setting deadlines is definitely a good idea. I’m still struggling to get myself onto some kind of writing schedule.

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    1. Give yourself some time, and I’m sure you can build a safety net of your own. Or perhaps you’ll come up with some other way to protect yourself. If you want to take the leap of faith, I’m sure you can find a way to make it work.

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  2. Wow. Good for you!

    I went part-time a few years ago for a different reason, but it was still scary. (Luckily, my job lets part-timers keep their health insurance.) Sounds like you’re making the leap with good forethought and planning. Just keep taking the business side of writing seriously, and you should be okay.

    Great post! Welcome to the group. 🙂
    IWSG #118 until Alex culls the list again.

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  3. Congratulations on making that leap! It’s something I’ve thought about for years, but I didn’t think to prepare like you have. Thanks for your list. I’m really hoping it works out for you – and you’re right, it’s a lot of writer’s dream to be able to do what you did. 🙂

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  4. Thanks for posting for IWSG!

    Congrats on your LEAP! The fact that you have done so much planning really should make you feel more confident. This wasn’t some ‘fly-by-night’ idea.

    Best of luck. Keep writing.
    Heather M. Gardner

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      1. That’s what makes it brave – if doing something doesn’t scare you then it’s not as brave. Facing the fear is where the bravery lies x

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  5. Wow! I think I need to add something else to the list of things that make me less frightened about what I’m doing, and that’s the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Thank you all so much for all your encouragement! I’m ready to go do some serious writing now!

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  6. Good luck with your leap!

    You sound like you know what you’re doing, so you’ve certainly done a fair bit of looking beforehand. If nothing else, I’d imagine there’ll be a fair amount of people wanting illustrations, for different types of project, and you’ve got that skill.

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