Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Changing Careers - My Thoughts
I want to change careers.
Someone looking to change careers mid-life probably would either have to take a skill they'd been developing for the last decade as a hobby, or would have to go back to school for it. Going back to school means long hours, working a job plus going to school at night for 3-4 years before they can take the plunge. I've been at this a year and I've already gotten a lot better, I've done a ton of research, and I'm reading a lot more as well, which is pretty much research for a writer
At this point my goal for each day is 15 minutes of free-writing every day, without fail. If I do that for a month or two, then bump it to 30 minutes per day I could accomplish a lot of writing slowly over time. When I’m in the groove I can write 1000 words in 45 minutes. A hour of writing daily can conceivably produce 1000 words per day, 7 days a week (cause writers write every day w/out fail, it’s a lifestyle, not a job at that point.) That’s a third of a million words per year! That’s a lot of cheese!
100K word books means I could crank out rough drafts of three books per year, add in all the editing that I’ll eventually need to do and I could possibly produce one book per year, with editing and some working with others. That’s around 1 hour per day, not too shabby, I just need to do it.
What I'm doing now are developing the habits and patterns of a writer. My daily free-writes help with that. I also read heavily to work on vocabulary, devouring as much as I can in my chosen genre, plus reading up as much as I can on how to write this to me is time well spent on something that I want to do as a profession. At some point I can turn this into mandatory writing per day, say 500 words following the free-write, or just keep it stuck to a time limit. Something done a little every day can add up to huge dividends down the road.
I do enjoy writing, I love it. I’m just not practiced at it right now. Practice Makes Perfect, and I sure need a lot of it.
I am committed to becoming not only a published author, but a career writer. If I’m able to do it full-time as my only job or if I just do it part-time as a supplement to my income, I’ll be happy.
Even as part time, the supplement to my income would be awesome. If I manage to write a book a year, from an hour a day of writing, I get paid $25K or so, that’s an extra $25 large that I wouldn’t have had before. That’s a huge jump in salary for me as well, allowing me to pay off my mortgage that much earlier. I could find myself a lower paying job that I absolutely love to do, maybe go to school for the fun of it, hell, help Jennifer go to school for the hell of it. Help her launch a career that she can love and be involved with. That’s kid’s college funds paid for with an hour per day. That’s extra time with the kids cause I don’t have to be in a job that requires an extra 20 hours per week dealing with on-call stuff.
It’s a good dream, now it’s time to make it a reality.