Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Two Years Dreaming
Two years ago, I closed the door to my office and turned in the keys, saying good-bye to a regular day job. I had a rough plan in mind - find some sort of part time job to bring in income and write.
I started by bringing in funds by selling stuff we had, in our overstuffed, cluttered home. The things I thought I needed to have, using the money I earned with my time were sold for a fraction of their worth. But there were lots of those items and enough money came in each week that I didn't get a "real job."
Then winter came and the money trickled in then froze solid for a little while. By this time I was putting my finishing touches on my first book, Knitting by Faith. The book was published in the spring and then it was time to get rid of more stuff in the house and plan for our trip to England and Scotland.
Then suddenly, I found myself working one day a week at our local yarn shop and teaching classes on the side. Royalties from my book came in every month from around the world. It reached #1 for knitting books for kindle and stayed in the top 100. The next book was outlined and begun. I also become active in a writing group.
Staying at home with a small income became normal. I learned to extreme coupon, to save money and to be content with what we have (mostly). There isn't much one really needs when the home is overstuffed with things we chose to purchase in the past. I struggled with housework because I don't enjoy it but it's part of the bargain of not having a day job. Often I'd wish for the life that some writers had - of having a supportive spouse that cleaned up after them while they locked themselves away to write. But that's not the life I married.
My husband and I traveled to the British Isles later that summer, then to Sedona, AZ in the spring and I did a solo trip to Ontario Canada shortly after that. I met both my long time writing friends in London and Ontario. The first draft of my India book was finished and the editing process began and is currently being worked on.
And there you have it - two years of life, summed up in six short paragraphs. Those years were like a road leading from one point to the other with unexpected turns and switchbacks. But it's a road that I'm on and continue to go forward on. The more that I travel this way, the less that I can imagine going back to a day job.
And so as I reflect on these two years, I have no regrets. Each setback and frustration was a learning point. Each success and triumph was the result of those setbacks and frustrations. There is only forward motion even if it is slow or stumbling.
Knitting by Faith has sold over 1,700 copies and the next book should be out in a matter of months. It's the best job I've ever had.