Four months ago, I left behind my job in biotech to pursue a career as a full-time writer.
I knew that it was going to be difficult from the start. I wasn’t very active on social media, and had never been published before. I didn’t have a large following, and didn’t even have very many friends in the writing community to draw strength from. Despite these obstacles, though, I could not see any other path for my life besides one that allowed me to write every day.
Writing is not just something that I’m good at. It’s my passion, it’s my favorite pastime. These four months have been incredibly rewarding for me as a writer. I got my first piece of fiction published, and got paid for it to boot! I set up a website, and discovered new ways to explore my passion for writing.
Best of all, I wrote every day. In just four months, I wrote six short stories and have three more in development. I also got started on a new novel, and made massive revisions to my primary work-in-progress to improve it. I’ve never gotten to write like this before, and it’s been wonderful.
Unfortunately, though, it isn’t paying the bills. I’ve been working hard at my novel, querying and revising and searching for a way to get it to print through traditional publishing. I’ve submitted my stories to countless pro and semi-pro magazines in hopes of getting paid for my work. And, though I love the work that I’ve done, none of those things have yet panned out.
With the new year coming up, I’ve had to start confronting the realities of the life I’m trying to lead. With no net income to bolster my bank account, this lifestyle isn’t sustainable. And so, when my fiance and I get back from our various holiday vacations in January, I’m going to have to start looking for a ~real job~.
When I first realized this, it felt like I was giving up. I hated the idea that I would go back to a day job, and leave behind my potential career as a professional writer. I wanted, so badly, to do well in this endeavor. And I think, for only trying at it for 4 months, I did do well at it. But I just don’t have the resources available to press on with this for the length of time I might need to be successful – and even if I do, the returns on that invested time wouldn’t make up for the money I lost in the process.
It took me a while to come to terms with all that. While thinking it over, though, I realized something: no one is reading my writing. The only people that ever see my writing these days are magazine staff at best, and slush readers at worst. More than anything else, I want my work to be read. I’m a storyteller, and I want me stories to be shared with others – but publications in small magazines after rejections by slush readers across the board means that even fewer people are reading my work than ever.
I’ve decided to change that. I’ve made accounts on WattPad, Booksie, and Medium in order to share my work with a larger audience. I’m going to post short stories there for now, but if I garner a following I plan to start featuring chapters of my novel as well.
I also want to become more active in non-fiction writing. I’ve found that writing articles for people is very rewarding to me. I love taking information and distilling it down to an easily digestible format. I haven’t had much chance to explore this part of my writing, but Medium is far more optimized for non-fiction writing to start with, so I’ll probably start posting articles there and see what happens.
This also means that I want to be more active on this blog. I know that right now I don’t have a following – there’s nothing to follow! – but I think that this new plan will be far more conducive to blogging. I’ll post information about stories and articles I’m posting, as well as my D&D content and possibly my writing process. And, hopefully, I’ll be able to continue “Out on the Road” as a subset of this blog.
So, watch this space! There are big changes coming to the way I work, and the way I share my work. This will by far be the best place for you to find out what I’m up to!
Thanks for reading,