Crucial Steps to Take When Becoming a Full-Time Writer

becoming a full-time writerIf you are reading this article, it’s probable that you’re thinking of becoming a full-time writer. Let’s begin with this. How many times have you heard, “You want to write? Great! But don’t quit your day job.” I heard it to. I actually heard it directly from the financial guru, Suzy Orman. I was desperate for her approval. If she said, “Go for it, girlfriend,” I could have put my worries aside. I nervously called her show and told her my idea of leaving my full-time job to becoming a full-time writer. She said something like, Girlfriend, don’t you dare. You’ve got to figure how to let go of the stress your causing yourself with your day job and get back to work. Needless to say, I did not get her approval.

Quit Your Day Job-But Not Just Yet

So what did I do? I went against all odds, and resigned from teaching. Hold on. I don’t want to imply I hung up with Suze and called my principal to quit. Suze perhaps helped a little bit. Writing had been a dream of mine for too long to let it simmer on the back burner. My blood boiled for change. I’m not advising you to go out and quit your day job and then pick up a pen and begin writing, unless you’re a millionaire and have no troubles paying your bills ahead of time. I do not have this luxury.

So how was it possible for me? For one, I have my husband’s support, financially and emotionally, so I was able to make the break from my day job. Though, we gave up a lot of luxuries. Buying purses, pedicures, cleaning lady, and yes, expensive vacations were over. However, if I truly want these things again, I will have them because I’m determined to make writing a successful career. But, honestly, I haven’t missed any of it. My toes are chipped and I bought a purse for $5 at a garage sale, but I love my new job. My decision to write full-time is the best decision my husband and I have made, career wise.

Take Crucial Necessary Steps Before Jumping In

If you want to become a full-time writer, it is crucial to take the necessary steps before you jump in with both feet. It might sound like I jumped right in, so why can’t you? It didn’t happen that way, I promise. Again, becoming a full-time writer did not happen overnight. I thought long and hard about my decision. And you must, too. First, my husband and I were in cahoots about my idea of leaving teaching and its steady paycheck so I could write full-time. We understood there would be new book expenses, and I wouldn’t be making a single dime. We agreed upon goals, wrote them down, and applied this new endeavor, while I was still teaching, without a second income. It was a great way to save, an unexpected benefit.

Manage Your Time, Get Involved and Network

I continued working and wrote on the weekends and school holidays. I got involved in writers groups, and networked with other authors. It was tough to find the extra time, and in doing this, my first novel took two and a half years from the first sentence to the bookstore’s shelves. One of those goals that I wrote was to teach for twenty years so that we could reap my future pension’s benefits in retirement. From the time I decided to quit teaching, I worked for another five years to accomplish this one goal. It was frustrating at times because I wanted to spend my time writing, opposed to correcting homework. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching students, but I am lucky enough to have a second passion—to write novels.

You must take the initiative to plan and manage your time along with working your day job. Attend workshops, writing engagements, and network with other authors. Gather as much advice as you can. Maybe you are someone who works part time or you’re able to put in an eight-hour day and then get home by five. If this is the case, by all means, do both. It’s possible. For me, I didn’t have enough writing time to satisfy my needs. I worked on average 65 hours a week. By the time I was home, I was too exhausted to write. I wrote on weekends, but I could only managed about 3-8 hours per weekend with errands to run, bills to pay, and other responsibilities. But I managed regardless, to do at least thirty minutes of writing if that’s all I had.

Finally, and maybe I should have mentioned this first, but I wanted it to be the lasting impression. If you are thinking of becoming a full-time writer because you hate your day job or you want to become famous or because you want to be a millionaire, then I advise you—don’t quit your job until you find something you absolutely love without the mention of fame and money. I don’t walk into the grocery store and have people whisper, “Holy Moly! There goes Julie Oleszek.” I made $12 in the month of August. I’m not kidding. $12. Of course I want to make money, millions. And someday I hope I can say I have, but I didn’t quit my day job with this intention. Instead, I was thinking of what I needed to accomplish in order to become a full-time writer. My last words of advise—take crucial steps needed to become a full-time writer and then GO FOR IT! [yellowbox]BONUS: Download 3 Free Chapters of The Fifth Floor Now! Follow the emotional coming of age journey for a young girl named Anna and her struggles with a deep, dark secret.[/yellowbox]


Interested in a compelling and emotional coming of age story? Check out The Fifth Floor, the debut novel from Julie Oleszek, a local Chicagoland area author today!

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