My New Year’s resolutions have not been going well. They started out great. Seriously! I made it to the gym a few times. I was writing consistently. I ate some kale. I posted a few videos on YouTube…
But it all fell apart around the beginning of week 3. My day job is designing a monthly real estate guide. It’s usually 64-72 pages, and it takes up a solid week every month. In that week, I fall behind on everything. EVERYTHING. The house work piles up, my writing lags, I sleep an average of 5 hours a night, and I start to smell. My husband and son aren’t thrilled about the lack of attention either.
I’ve been at this for 5 years now. If I wasn’t a full-time writer, it probably wouldn’t be so bad. But I AM a full-time writer. Don’t get me wrong. I love design work, and I have a great boss. Also, it is only 1 week a month. This job has allowed me to work from home—through being pregnant with my son, and through 2 years of breast-feeding. The thing is, when I took this job 5 years ago, I’d only been a published author for a few months. I was in no position to make it as a full-time writer. Even 4 years later, I was only making enough in royalties to claim writing as a hobby.
This past year has left me in a perpetual state of disbelief. 2014 was very good to me. It started in January, when I made the first book in my Lana Harvey series available for free. I know a lot of indie authors who are horrified by this concept, but it’s one of the best things I ever did for my writing career. I understand how some might see this as demeaning—almost like an admission that their hard work is worthless. I admit, it took me a while to get over that hump as well. The thing is, when you’re a relatively unknown indie author without a big publishing house to back you, it’s hard to get your name out there. It’s hard to get readers to take a chance on you. Obviously, it’s much easier to get readers to take a chance when you offer them a free book. When you have a decent backlist, that free book equals multiple sales you would have undoubtedly never seen. I regret nothing.
In April, I saw my first royalty check that was more than what my day job paid. Amazeballs! I allowed myself a few days to be giddy and celebrate, and then I reeled it in. One month of awesome sales does not equal a good enough reason to quit a job with a steady paycheck. In June, I was fortunate enough to be accepted by BookBub for a promo feature in their newsletter. I didn’t really understand what this meant until the actual day of the promo in July. Graveyard Shift, my free book, was downloaded over 25,000 times that day. It topped a few Amazon lists. Then sales on my other books took off. More readers began to email, asking when my next book would be out. My job as an author went into overdrive.
My day job has since become harder and harder to manage. I end the work week feeling like an apocalypse survivor, and it takes me a good week to catch up on life in general. Now that I’m financially comfortable enough to make a living as an author, I really don’t need the day job anymore. I haven’t for a while, but when you work for good people, it’s even harder to make that leap. But I finally did. Last week, I put in my 3 month notice. I know that sounds like a lot of time, but like I said, I work for good people. It will take time to find the right person to take on this job.
So… back to those resolutions. It’s been almost 2 weeks since I posted a video. I’ll get back on that this week. And to be honest, it’s not just the day job that’s set me back recently.
Last week, in front of my son’s preschool, I tripped backwards over the curb as I was taking my son out of the backseat. The mommy instincts kicked in, so instead of trying to break my fall, I lifted my kiddo up as high as I could, and fell flat on my ass. The kiddo is fine. He thought we were playing. I, on the other hand, have a bruised tailbone and it hurts to sit down. Which means the gym was a no-go for a while. I don’t even want to think about how painful doing crunches would be right now. Also, kale was not going to cut it for a boo-boo of this magnitude. That required ice cream. If I was going to jump off the resolution wagon, why not do a somersault through a flaming hoop while I was at it?
Tomorrow’s the first of February. A good time to hit the reset button, yeah? Anyway, I hope you all are accomplishing all you’ve set out to do this year! If you need me, I’ll be furiously typing, folding mountains of laundry, and icing my ass.