You read that right.
In the most expensive place in the country to live, I decided to quit my full-time, lucrative, benefitted marketing job to be a writer. Because apparently what I thought was just a few crossed wires in my head leftover from poor decision-making is actually a big, whopping pile of insane.
The details aren’t important. It was time for me to go. So I did. I wish I could tell you that I was all bravado and spunk, all “my heart is in THIS THING and I’m going to seek my fortune in it!” But I was not. Am not. I’m terrified.
Because now I have to stare in the face that I have no idea what it is that I actually want to do. Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve just been swinging wildly from one gig to another to make my bills and faking that whatever it was for the week was “nice enough I guess” because I didn’t hate it. But this lukewarm way of moving through the world is not what I’m built for. Unfortunately, the only thing I know I love is books and the only thing I like is writing.
Obviously, that means “okay, well, you’re here. Go write some books.” But I’m stuck. I’m paralyzed by this possibility.
I just finished Fangirl by Rainbow Roelle. It was fun and endearing. The lead character, Cather, is a talented writer with a rabid online following but when it comes time for her to write a piece under her real name for a fiction class, she freezes and spends the next year avoiding the assignment.
I feel like Cather. I feel like I would rather hide behind a boyfriend or a job or any other responsibility than face down the one thing I actually seem to enjoy doing in a way that could make it more than a side hustle. I knew quitting my job was crazy, but I didn’t think the crazy would actually come from the fact that I am apparently now afraid of actually doing the thing I quit my job for.
I try to make lists to keep the noise in my head from drowning out my intent. The line “There’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait” from Hamilton, while once a motivator, now makes me panic. I used to have to portion out my writing around my work schedule, and now that my writing IS my work schedule I’m overwhelmed.
It’s only been a week. I’ve started off okay. Wrote a few things on assignment. Pitched a few new places. Got on a couple event lists. Applied for some part time work in libraries, because maybe what I need to be doing is putting the right books in the right hands. Maybe I’ll be this generation’s Ina Coolbrith. Who knows? The world is my oyster or whatever–too bad I’m not much for shellfish.
Deep breaths. Baby steps. A million things I haven’t done only get done one at a time.
So for now, this is the baseline where I’m starting–books and writing. Maybe someday soon I’m going to write my own books. Hopefully sooner than that, I can write about books in a way that gets me paid. In the meantime, you can keep up with me on the usual social channels, and pop through my Medium profile where I write letters to my dog. Coffee and words of encouragement are always appreciated.