I’m now officially a full-time author! Last week I left my job at BookBub, where I’ve worked for 7 years to become a full-time author. I’m thrilled to take this step in my career, but it’s bittersweet. I’ve loved my time at BookBub! Leaving a stable, salaried position is terrifying, especially when there are NO guarantees in publishing. So for other authors considering this move, I want to be transparent about how I arrived at my decision. (This was originally posted to Instagram, and by request I’m cross-posting it here on my blog!)
First: thank you, readers, for making this possible. If not for your enthusiasm for my debut — despite it launching week one of the pandemic when bookstores were closed — I never would’ve sold more books.
OK, diving in:
1. I tested this first!
I took a 3-month leave-of-absence in the fall to write ✨secret project✨. During this time, I proved to myself I could write a novel on an aggressive deadline, for hours every day, and that it made me truly happy.
2. Burnout was a factor.
I know some authors thrive on FT job stability, and that’s great. But personally, writing at the pace I wanted on top of a FT marketing job for many years damaged my mental health. Something had to give. Plus, I’m lucky to have some momentum and a bunch of ideas I’m excited about. Now feels like the right time to shoot my shot.
3. Savings + privilege.
Real transparency: my advances aren’t at a point where this was a comfy decision. Privilege plays a role here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked SO hard — I’ve had a job since I was 14, studied hard, never took an unpaid internship bc I had to pay rent, graduated w/ $100 in my bank account. But privilege certainly helped get me into that college and my first salaried job. Now I’m on my husband’s health insurance, have no dependents, am (finally) almost done paying off my student loans, and have a savings safety net. It’s surreal to be able to take this leap, but I’m also lucky to be here.
4. THIS IS A MASSIVE RISK.
I may need to find another FT job in a couple years. I may freelance to supplement my author income. I may start self-publishing, too!
5. This is a chance to rethink my career.
I have ideas for jobs I’d want to pursue next and have already started chatting with folks in that industry. I want to tell stories full-time, no matter what that looks like, and if I end up finding a job that lets me do that, AMAZING. But for now, I’m writing novels!
Happy to answer Qs in the comments on the original Instagram post! (I’m not sure why comments disappeared on my blog but I don’t have time to dig into it at the moment). WISH ME LUCK, FRIENDS, I WILL NEED IT. 😱🥰