I did a curious thing last week.
I quit my job.
“What?” I hear you say. “Are you nuts? In this economy?”
Well, sure. It’s not that I’m unemployed, it’s that I’m self-employed. There’s a huge difference, even though the office dress code (read: pyjamas and an unshaven chin) is much the same.
I graduated from college with a degree in Journalism, relatively few applicable skills, and one crushing certainty: I hated journalism. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ira Glass and narrative nonfiction, but somewhere around my senior year, it dawned on me that what I enjoyed most about narrative nonfiction was the narrative part while the nonfiction angle was just a massive pain in the ass. What? I don’t get to just make stuff up? This blows.
Anyway, I looked at my options (which numbered between scarce and rare thanks to certain economic factors that shall remain nameless). I didn’t want to go into a newspaper. I didn’t want to find a magazine. I didn’t want to flip burgers. I wanted to work with books.
One internship later, and I had myself a job with a book publishing company in Dallas. Times were good. I was learning a new industry and new skills. It didn’t take long, though, for me to fall back into a pattern that I was familiar with from college: work during the day, freelance at night. Work during the week, freelance on weekends. Almost two years after I started, I realized that I was spending forty hours a week editing at work and thirty-five hours a week editing at home. I was tired. My wife was not pleased. My dogs had written me off as a poor source of food and/or attention. It was time to go for it.
This blog will have simple criteria: I will honestly and completely share with the world my efforts to become a self-sustaining freelance editor and writer. I’m sharing this because I know there are others out there -it’s true that these people are mostly writers, but close enough- who want to write for a living but don’t.
Friday was my last day of work. Today is my first day of self-employment. Let’s do this.