At the start of this year, I decided I wanted to work one day a week less so I could devote a whole day to writing. Instantly I thought, what a dumb idea. For a start, I don’t earn enough to take a cut in my income. Also, my job is already super-demanding. Better to play it safe and wait until I have promising signs from a publisher, or at least an agent, right?
And to that I thought, “Fair enough” and then decided I was thinking about it back to front. I’ve always believed that if you want something, the best way to make it happen is to act like you already have it. Presuming you’ve put in all the hard work, of course.
And as nice as it would be to stop working and live like I’m a successful author, writing all day, every day, there’s these little things called bills and living expenses that prevent that from happening right now. But I realised I could rearrange my life enough to work one day less a week.
Would I have to go without things to make this happen? Yep. Would it hurt financially? Oh yes. Would my workdays become even crazier getting through my workload? You betcha. But having a day to focus on writing each week is a bliss that’s worth the risk.
So I put it to my boss, ready to outline a solid business case for how it could work, and even then to have to argue the case further. He agreed without any objections. Way to make a gal’s day!
So from now on, one day each week, I take off my magazine editor hat and put on my writer-working-from-home hat (or more accurately, writer-working-from-home comfy pants) and spend all day immersed in my manuscript.
Making the commitment, even when it’s difficult, sends a clear message that I’m committed to achieving my dream of being a successful writer. Who to? An agent/publisher? The universe? Myself? Doesn’t matter.
Of course, so much has to come together for a book to not only be published but also be commercially successful, so I know it’s a big ask. And as hard as I want that and believe in it and am working towards it, on another level the outcome is irrelevant.
That might be a strange thing to say, but bear with me. If I didn’t need to work, I would write all day every day and wouldn’t care if it was only a few friends who enjoyed reading my work. The reason I want to be published, the reason I want to be successful, is so I can have more time to write.
So by taking this leap, I’m already achieving part of my dream – a whole day each week devoted to the thing I love most – and money can’t buy that.
How do you pursue your dreams? Do you take a leap or wait until you have a safety net? If you took a leap, did it pay off?