Welp, here I am. I just completed my last day teaching, possibly forever. I have quit my job to be a writer. (It’s a lot more complicated than that, but there it is, I said it and I did it.) It’s like I’m having an out of body experience or walking around in shock. At the same time, even writing this blog post is overwhelming to me. I want to express how I feel and what my plans are and I just can’t yet. My LEAST favorite question right now is, “What do you write?” Words! Ok?! As Hamlet says, “Words, words, words.” And I will do that until I figure it out. Like with everything else, I will write my self into self understanding and answers.
The only thing I can start with is what I don’t know:
#1: How to make money. At some point, sooner probably, rather than later, I’m going to have to worry about that.
#2: How to talk to people about my projects. I have a lot in mind right now but I don’t know how to talk about them.
#3: How to create a routine for myself so I don’t spin out/sit on the couch and waste away. There are other things to balance – Babu! – so how do I get into a groove that works for me?
#4: How am I going to live with out the crazy students I have known for the last decade being a part of my life? They are my therapy and I’ll miss them. Teenagers. They keep me young and age me terribly and they give me plenty to write about and keep my creativity alive.
#5: How am I going to market my novel once I finish it? Agent? Self publishing? A week ago I would have asked: “How am I going to fix that hot mess?” I have a new thing to try so I may have that answer.
#6: How, how how..How about a different sentence starter? What if I’m not good enough?!?!?!? I am going to get yelled at for this but anyone who writes – well, anyone whose good – asks themselves that question. That’s my opinion and I’m asking myself that a lot.
What I do know:
#1: I’m determined not to allow the fear of making/not making money stop me from writing with integrity to my own voice, story, and process.
#2: I have certainly set my self up enough to have to at least try. No backing out now. Everyone knows. Angie’s quitting to be a writer…it’s her calling…we can’t wait to read something… “No pressure, kid” is on loop. Good. I can work under pressure.
#3: I may not know how to fix my novel, or even write one, but I think the answer is one word at a time and I now have a room of my own and time to write.
#4: I plan to be done wearing the wool suit for quite some time. (That’s my metaphor for how I feel when I’m NOT writing. You know, uncomfortable in my own skin.)
#5: There is a little bit of a game plan involved here. I’m not running off to fantasy land where money rains from the sky because I got creative and wrote a poem I actually kinda like. I’m not ready to divulge that plan yet, though.
#6: I will always consider June 19th as the day I began my life as a writer. I know the anniversary, if it turns out that becomes a thing I want to celebrate, is actually June 22nd, tomorrow, which is my first full day at the new job, but I like the number 19 better.
#1: Keep at least 10 posts ahead and post either every day or every other day. (Yes, I post ahead of time, it’s true.)
#2: Finish the novel before the end of the year and find out what I’m going to do with it by this time next year.
#3: Submit something somewhere once a week. I know that’s crazy. Is that just the nuttiest thing you’ve ever heard? However, if I can get some things accepted, money might start to trickle in that way, my skills will be kept sharp, and I’ll be able to build up a writing portfolio, or resume, whatever we writers have.
Alright, here I go!