I'm now a full time writer
So I've been thinking about this for a while now and always managed to find some reason not to do it. But now I finally am.
I used to work as a marine biologist, which was mostly a fairly standard Monday to Friday 9-5 office job - particularly since lockdown has restricted fieldwork. There was a fair few occasions of leaping on to fishing boats at dawn to count cuttlefish and using underwater video cameras to look at the seabed and wading out off the beach to survey juvenile fish and measuring lobsters and other fun parts of the job. It's been a great career and I've worked with a whole host of great people... but there comes a time when you need a change and this one's been creeping up on me for a while.
I've been writing for a long time. Even since before I was a marine biologist actually, but it's always been a hobby, a 'when I've got time' sort of thing. Still, when I realised I'd written four novels in my spare time, in my 'I've got to write this idea down so it will leave me alone' time, then I started to think about publishing, about sharing what I'd written, in giving those stories space rather than hiding them on the hard drive of my computer.
My first novel, Gathering Darkness, was published in November 2019. I had a short story published in Pixel Heart (Issue 4). A novel (book one of a new series) was long listed in the 2019 Mslexia Novel Competition. And I started to think, 'I could do this', 'this might be fun'. And then I thought, 'but I won't make any money'. So a few more months passed and I kept thinking, 'I'd rather be writing', 'I want to do more of this'.
So I handed in my notice, quit my job, plunged into a massive career change. I've only got three more days left and then I'll be a full time writer.
A big change for sure, but not without due consideration. I'm fortunate to have a few savings and a supportive husband. I was worried that turning my passion into a job would crush the joy out of it so I've decided to take a year and then see how things are. I've got twelve months in which to write and explore and experiment. No pressure (well, maybe a little bit). The aim isn't a certain amount of money or a specific definition of success, just a year to try a few different things, see what works, and, of course, do lots and lots of writing!
Watch this space as I blog my progress.