Wednesday, November 28, 2012

COPING WITH LEAVING YOUR DAY JOB

Learning to cope with leaving your day job and writing full time—I haven’t yet!




Hi Sia! Thanks for inviting me to guest blog at Thoughts Over Coffee today! I wanted to choose a topic that I’m currently struggling with in the hopes that I’m not alone. 

After years of working part time in an office during the day while our kids were in school—writing early in the morning before work, and then again at night and on weekends—my darling husband suggested that I give my writing career my full attention and quit my day job. Now this wasn't because I suddenly was raking in the dough—not the case, or really the point—it was the spirit behind his offer, which I accepted after he reminded me that I supported him fully when he started his own engineering consulting business ten years ago and that it was my turn.

So, I quit my day job and that’s when then the Universe decided to throw a monkey wrench in our grand plans. I added driving our youngest son back and forth to work—a daily round trip of 4 hours—to my schedule, but again not the point… We needed to be there for him and to support him while he was waiting to get his license back. He needed to keep his job in order to become independent again.

I adjusted to another new writing schedule because I was fortunate enough to have back-to-back deadlines, for which I was eternally grateful, but it meant I had to focus completely during the hours I did have available to write in. Finally I saw the light at the end of the tunnel when he was able to get his license back—more writing time, I thought…Perfect!

And then the Universe laughed and our daughter and son-in-law asked me to babysit our grandbaby three days a week when maternity leave was over. The catch is that they both work in retail and neither one has a set schedule week to week. Soooo… I've been babysitting—and loving every minute of it! By the way, it is sooo much easier when you’re 20 years younger!

Two years have come and gone since I've quit my job to write full time, and I’m still trying to find my balance. There are days when I get sidetracked feeling guilty that I’m not bringing in a weekly paycheck, how does one get over that? If anyone has the answer, I’d love to hear it!

By far the hardest part of my job as an author is juggling the social networking part of it. There are days when I’m on deadline and completely forget that I haven’t posted to FB or tweeted or blogged about what I’m doing, nose-to-the-grindstone days when I’m writing or dealing with family issues and life itself.

Things have changed drastically from when I published my first book in 2000, hard to believe it people, but we didn't have the internet as it is today…no Facebook, Twitter, etc. We had email and on-line writing groups, but our promotional efforts were concentrated on mailing bookmarks, postcards and pens to bookstores and attending conferences. :-)

I wonder if the Universe is just reminding me that nothing in life is ever easy and that anything worthwhile never comes easily—and it shouldn't because we might not appreciate it as much if our goals were too easily met and obstacles too easily climbed over. So I’ll keep adjusting my writing schedule and meeting my deadlines and will try really hard to remember that I need to keep up with those wonderful friends and contacts in my social-networking life on FB and twitter and post more often.

My question for readers today is how have you balanced a career change with family and other obligations? Has it worked for you, or have you had to readjust?

BUY: AMAZON, B&N, INDIEBOUND
A WEDDING IN APPLE GROVE 

He's not so sure about small town life.

She can't imagine living anywhere else

Welcome to Apple Grove, Ohio (population 597), where everyone has your best interests at heart, even if they can't agree on the best way to meddle. When the townsfolk of Apple Grove need handiwork done, there's no job too small for the Mulcahy sisters: Megan, Caitlin, and Grace.

Specializing in hard work and family loyalty, tomboy Meg Mulcahy has left behind any girlhood reams of romance. Enter newcomer Daniel Eagan, looking to bury his own broken heart and make a new start. He's surprised-and delighted-by the winsome girl with the mighty tool belt who shows up to fix his wiring.

But Dan's got a lot to learn about life in a small town, and when Meg's past collides with her future, it may take all 595 other residents of Apple Grove to keep this romance from short-circuiting. 

“A terrifically fun read... With quick dialogue and a homey feel, this is a wonderful book to curl up with. Small-town romance at its best!” —RT Book Review, 4 Stars

C.H. ADMIRAND was born in Aiken, South Carolina, but grew up in New Jersey. She has been delighting readers with her Secret Life of Cowboys Series, featuring three cowboy brothers with Irish charm, and is now working on the next books in her small town contemporary romance series, featuring the town and quirky characters of Apple Grove, OH. She lives with her husband, who is the inspiration for all of her heroes’ best traits, in New Jersey. For more information, please visit www.CHAdmirand.com.


15 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Welcome to Over Coffee. Ah...juggling working from home. So many are doing it but all seem to face the problem of other's perceptions that if you're home, you're not working or you have lots of free time. Neither of which is true, of course.

I know, I had that problem until hubs and kid were home (holiday vacation days) on a typical Monday--which are always incredibly busy--and observed what mom was doing. I don't think there is a question that I'm working anymore.Free time on Mondays or Tuesdays? What free time? I barely have time to grab something to drink or take a bathroom break.

I love working from home but I'm only now in the position to feel comfortable enough to start looking at my writing schedule and setting work time to allow for the time to write.

Olivia Cunning said...

Such a timely post for me, C.H. And it's freaking me out just a bit. I just turned in my letter of resignation yesterday, as a matter of fact. For a career I went to college for for 8 years and have been building for 13 more. I'll be writing full-time starting in mid-December. I never thought it would happen because I'm the sole breadwinner--head of household, single mother with a son in college. How was it financially possible? Self-publishing. It does offer a monthly pay check, which is ideal for those six-months between royalty statement periods of time. There is no way I could have done it with the traditional 6-month, oh my stars is that REALLY all I made in 6-months? how is that even possible? royalty statement.

I'm sure life will throw plenty of monkey wrenches in my planned writing schedule too. At least you get to spend time with the grand baby! You probably wouldn't have been able to do that with a day job in the mix. :-)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Sia! Thanks for inviting me to chat today...our darling grandbaby stayed over last night because both his mom and dad were closing at the store...he's still here and I'm exhausted! LOL.

Soooo I'm glad you understand. It that is it exactly, when you are home people misunderstand and think that you are just goofing off, watching TV and eating bonbons :)

My hubby does accuse me of seeing chickens...I'm easily distracted, like right now, I have turkey soup that I started to cool yesterday before grandbaby Jack arrived and I need to finish the soup, but then I need to make him more pear/applesauce...and then again I knew I wanted to stop by and comment on your fabulous blog.

I'm glad I'm not alone.

Thanks, Sia!!!

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Olivia! Thanks so much for stopping by today and Congrats on turning in your resignation :)

It sounds as if it is definitely time for you to write full-time. It's hard putting kids through college, we've put three through and are still juggling payments because we wanted them to not have to worry about education loan payments and paying rent when they leave home.

Our oldest has almost all of the downpayment he needs for his first house saved up and will be moving out soon...our daughter is married and living 45 mins away...and our youngest...well he's working on it. LOL!

Just keep writing and have faith, I'm hoping the rest will fall into place.

Royalty statements...hmmm...that's a topic for another time. :)

Johanna Garth said...

It is a tricky balance. If all I had to do was write and raise kids it would be easy, but throwing in the social network piece and somedays I get a little stressed....but good stressed :)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Johanna - hmmm...seems we have a lot in common as well. I remember thinking if I only didn't have to do the social networking thing I'd be able to get ahead with what's next after deadline...and then the Universe sent Sandy our way. We were without power for 10 days and without the internet for 13--right as my Virtual Tour was starting for my Nov. book. Talk about being careful what you wish for! LOL.
Thanks :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds more chaotic than working.
I don't foresee me quitting my job anytime soon. Except to officially retire.

C.H. Admirand said...

Hey Alex...you mean more chaotic than working outside of the home? It is, because the possibilities for interruptions while you are writing, or handling the business end of writing, are endless!

Thanks!!

Melanie Schulz said...

I took that same plunge a year ago, and have had similiar challanges. I guess I learned what you did, be flexable.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Yes, you do have to be flexible but you also have to have discipline. It's all too easy to get sucked into what others want or other things you may want to do.

When you work at home the volume of work remains the same as if you were working outside in an office, classroom, or whatever. I don't think working from home is easier, the opposite, I think. Partly because you are battling your perceptions of what being at home means. Free time. Only you really don't have that if you also have a certain things you must do to earn that paycheck. That's true whether you're writing or doing another job from home.

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Melanie - the challenges seem to be very similar to a lot of people working from home...being flexible is a good thing :)

C.H. Admirand said...

Hi Sia - Exactly! Getting sucked in is a big problem and the perception of what you should be doing while you are home is key.

Great advice!

Thanks, Sia :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

On the other hand, I gotta say, I love my commute. Muwahahaha. Especially on dark winter mornings or evenings when the slippery, snazza-frazza road is full of ice and stupid people.

Another plus side, I can rearrange my schedule so I can do something totally frivolous, like drive 45 miles and have coffee and coffee cake with my mom and sister. Or pop over to my girlfriend's house for coffee in the early morning and still be home in time to start work at 9. Yah, that part is nice.

No dress codes either--but when I'm working there is a mindset I need to have and I can't get that dressed in PJs, so I have a closet full of long skirts (maxies) and lots of long sleeved (short in the summer) tees or sweaters to pair up with them. Comfy and pretty.
:-)

Anne Gallagher said...

Right now, I'm in the opposite boat. I've been published for the last year, and in the beginning things were great, I was actually making boat loads of money, but then Amazon changed their algorythms and all that changed. I'm thinking I need to go out and find a "real job". But that's not a reality because so many people are still out of work. It's a catch 22 and the only thing I can really do is write more books, right? Hah. Easier said than done.

Carol Kilgore said...

Ohmigosh! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. And the social aspect is where I barely show up most days. We have two high maintenance dogs in the mix, plus family and all that entails. I have to write first or it just doesn't get done. But you're so right - nobody ever said this would be easy. Nice to meet you.

Hi, Sia!