It’s the first post of a new series. As I’ve said before, I got a lot of help when I was just starting out. It never hurts to give back, the Indie Showcase is a chance for those of us at or near the bottom of the ladder, the lesser known authors and bloggers, to have a say.
I hope you enjoy the guests that I’ve got lined up over the coming few months, you’ll see that there’s a lot of talent out there, a lot of hard work going on.
For the inaugural post, I’m delighted to welcome Deborah A. Stansil. Over to you:-
How I Ditched the Day Job and Became a Full-Time Writer
If you happen to have read my blog (or stumbled across me on social media) then no doubt you will have heard me say at some point that the people who say that earning a good, full-time salary from writing is impossible are the ones who didn’t try hard enough.
Why do I say this? Well because it’s true. Of course, there might be mitigating circumstances and a good reason why someone couldn’t try hard enough – but my point is that it is more than possible to make money as a writer.
I know this because I do it. And I am just a normal girl with no fancy writing degrees or any of that stuff. When I first started writing, I had no connections in the industry and I didn’t know a single writer. I didn’t have the first clue about publishing, marketing or networking.
What I did have was determination and the desire to turn my passion for writing into an actual way to make money while still having the creative freedom to not feel like writing had a become a chore.
I had always dreamed of being a writer from being a young child, but like a lot of dreams, it got pushed aside in favour of something more practical. The desire never left me though and novel ideas niggled around the edges of my mind almost constantly.
One day, I decided enough was enough and I set up a blog. I had no idea what I was doing – I Googled starting a blog and took the first hit (which obviously was Blogger) and within ten minutes, I had a blog.
It was a rubbish blog with a generic theme and no personality in the design, but it was still a blog. I spent the next few weeks churning out posts and wondering why no one was reading them.
The answer was obvious with hindsight – how could anyone read something they didn’t know existed. I took the plunge and joined Twitter and within a couple of months, I had a regular readership. Nothing major, but a couple of thousand views a month. And it spurred me on.
Blogging had become a big part of my life and I went self-hosted about five months after starting my blog. I also began writing my first novel, The Joker. I wasn’t confident enough to actually publish the novel, and I started instead with a short story collection, Twisted Tales.
The collection was well received and it gave me the push I needed to finally let the world see my novel. By then, I had well and truly caught the author bug. I have now written two short story collections, four novels, a collection of funny poems and two non-fiction books.
In June 2017, I began to really think seriously about making writing a full-time career. I had heard of ghostwriting, but only in an abstract way, and I started to look into it more seriously.
I landed my first job writing short stories. The money wasn’t fantastic (it worked out to be around £25 per hour) but it was a start. It was still far more per hour than I was earning in my day job as a bartender and I began to see that I could make it work.
I set myself a goal to leave my day job in January 2019. One day in October, I was at work on a quiet shift thinking about the fact I could be making more money at home doing something I loved than I was by being at work. A little voice in the back of my mind spoke up. It told me I was already making good money writing and it asked me what I was waiting for. It told me if I didn’t leave that job now, I never would.
I listened to it and I sat down and worked out my budget there and then and I knew I could do it. I handed my resignation in the next day and I’ve never looked back.
I guess what I’m saying is that if I can do it, you can do it. Don’t let fear or self-doubt stop you from chasing your dreams. This is your life and you owe it to yourself to do something you love.
At the same time, I wouldn’t advise anyone leaving a steady job they need without being absolutely sure they have the motivation to make it work.
If you have the motivation to push yourself every day, to learn the skills you need and to keep feeling inspired to write, then do it. You won’t regret it.
If writing is your thing and you’re looking for a supportive community where you will receive tips and advice from other authors and have the opportunity to take part in challenges to push your writing forward, feel free to join my Facebook group, The Writer’s Den.
And the next time someone tells you that making good money from writing is impossible, just smile knowingly. And then go out and prove to them how completely wrong they are.
Born in 1982 in North East England, I knew from an early age I wanted to be a writer. Life got in the way, and the dream was put on the back burner, although never forgotten. I am now a full-time author and freelance writer and I write my own blog, My Random Musings.
I have published four novels, two short story collections, two non-fiction books and a collection of funny poems.
Links to my blog and social media
Blog link: www.myrandommusings.co.uk
Amazon Author Page: https://goo.gl/FrXC4V
Thank you, Deborah, for taking part in the Showcase.
I hope you all enjoyed the post, it’s great to hear someone else’s story. While you’re here, why not have a look around the site? There are FREE things and a whole lot more, just follow the links at the top of the page.
If you want to be featured in a future Showcase, where you can write about whatever (within reason) you want, then please let me know. Use the comment box below and I’ll get back to you.
Don’t miss next Thursdays Showcase post, and my musings every Monday.
Have a great week,