The end of an era is the beginning of a new era.
I’ve been doing this full-time writer thing for almost six years. Despite what you might think, that was never the plan.
In my latest newsletter*, I said “Everything takes longer than planned.” That was true of getting Like Herding Cats out the door. And it’s true of the plan for launching my writing career.
* Are you subscribed to the newsletter? If not, why not? You could be reading exclusive first draft excerpts from Like Herding Cats, and blog-like rambles on the publishing industry and my place in it. How can you not want to read my extended metaphor of the querying process as a theatrical audition? Millions of authors singing, dancing, and doing Hamlet’s soliloquy for your pleasure! Ahem. Pardon me. And if you’re not already signed up, please click that link over in the sidebar.
See, the original idea was to take six months to focus on writing. Learn to string words together in pleasing ways. (Pleasing to me and to others. The latter is much harder than the former.) Develop the habit of writing. (The jokes about procrastinating writers are funny because there is a certain amount of truth behind the stereotype–which is why we tend to get defensive when non-writers tell them.)
And after six months, I’d start looking for a job, because, despite what Kokoro might tell you, cat food doesn’t just magically appear in the bowl. I never figured it would take five years to land a paycheck. But somehow, that’s what happened.
I haven’t started the job yet; I’m still doing paperwork. I don’t know what my hours will be, so I can’t gauge the impact on the blog. But I can make some contingency plans. If I wind up working or commuting Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings, I won’t be blogging at those times. Ideally, I’ll change the schedule* and blog other days or times. Not so ideally–and it’s a possibility since I will unquestionably have less time to write–I may have to make the hard decisions.
* Friday cat-or-other-critter posts are always written and posted ahead of time, so I don’t expect any change to those. You’re welcome.
If it comes down to a choice between blogging and writing novels, I’m going to pick the novels.
It’s all well and good to say that this blog is building platform–attracting followers who’ll buy my books–but if I never write the books, it doesn’t matter how many followers I’ve got. I won’t stop blogging about things unrelated to felines. But if I have to cut back the frequency, I will.
With that said, let’s move on. You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned who my new employer is. That was intentional. The job is in the technology sector. I plan to continue my usual snark about Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and anyone who believes the Internet of Things is a good idea. My employer may fall into one of those categories. Or not. This might be disinformation.
But I want to be absolutely clear that anything I say here is my own opinion, completely uninfluenced by questions of employment or sanity.
Welcome to the new era, in which I’m less worried about waking up to find that somebody has supplemented their diet with my toes. Hopefully, that’ll make for a more cheerful blog, the political environment notwithstanding.
Change is good. In well-controlled, carefully measured doses.