I'm not going to lie. Though 2010 started off with a bang (book contract...woot!), the rest of the year was fraught with more lows than highs. It was definitely a year of facing reality, no matter how unkind it could be, and realizing that I had to make wiser decisions across the board. It was the year of "growing up" as a writer and as a person.
The hard knocks I endured this year were basically health or work related. I was pretty ill at the end of Spring, beginning of Summer, and I felt the aftereffects all the way into the Fall. Meanwhile, I had to do my day job and my night job (writing), while feeling like I was on the edge of collapse. I was going home and straight to bed for a good portion of the year. I'd wake up a few hours later, write a little (or do revisions) then fall back into bed. I grew tired of waking up in the morning feeling like I hadn't slept a wink. I grumbled a lot, but kept pushing myself out the door.
A few years ago, I had transferred to a new division in the company when my old division downsized dramatically. My old job had been one I felt passionate about, the new one was just a job. I didn't feel attached to it beyond the fact I was still with a company I enjoyed working for. But last year, I burned out on the job. The tediousness of it wore me down and though I liked all my co-workers and management, I felt no joy in the tasks I performed every day. I literally had to talk myself into going to work in the morning. Couple that with my health issues and you get the gist of how miserable I was.
By the beginning of Fall, I knew I had to make a serious change in how I was handling my health. When my brother called me in September to tell me how concerned he was about me, I was open to lecture. With his help, I got myself back on track by eating better and taking supplements. I finished the year finally feeling more like my "normal self" and 20 lbs lighter.
As 2011 dawned, I realized that I had to make some significant changes in my life. Though feeling better, I recognized I was still precariously close to burning out if things didn't change. Writing is vitally important to me. It is my dream. In the last year, I wasn't able to indulge in doing what I love most. The events of 2010 had pushed me precariously close to the breaking point and what finally gave way was my creativity, my writing, my passion...a huge piece of my own soul.
As of 1/11/11, writing is now at the forefront of my life. I am going to take a risk and try to make this writing thing into a full time gig. I might fail. I might succeed. I might end up taking on a job that isn't so brain consuming. I'm not sure yet. But I am going to give it my best shot. We'll see how it plans out.
So as of yesterday, I am a full time writer. At least...for now.
Wish me luck.