For those of you who have read my About Me page, you will already know that I am in the process of transitioning out of a full-time day job to being a full-time writer and editor. When my husband came to me a year ago and encouraged me to pursue my dreams of becoming a writer every single day, I had no idea that, a year later, I would have the looming prospect of working full-time from home as a writer and editor. The Philosopher, my husband, approached me a while back and asked me if I might want to leave my full-time day job and write and edit full-time. I was excited, but underlying that excitement was anxiety, fear, and insecurity. “Can I really do this and be successful?” I thought. The Philosopher seemed to think so. You know what? The more that I work on my novels and the more that I work on editing my own words and the words of others…I think I can do this, too.

As appealing and exciting as the prospect of leaving the corporate work world for the individual work world is, I still have a lot of negative thoughts and emotions to overcome. I tend to feel guilty for wanting to chase after my dreams. I get caught up in thinking that people will be angry with me for leaving my day-job or that they will be disappointed in me if I fail at working full-time as an author and editor. When those thoughts come, and the anxiety inevitably follows, I have to remind myself that I cannot predict the future

I have no way of knowing what will happen in the next year or two. I could fail, yes; but I could also succeed. A blog that I like to frequent is Abundance Tapestry. Evelyn Lim is an excellent motivator and often has the right words to inspire me back to the right way of thinking. Though I may not always support or understand the means with which she reaches her inner peace, I appreciate her journey and find a lot of wisdom in her words. One post I read recently discussed daily inspiration to help push yourself towards your dreams. As I am writing this on a Thursday, I’ll focus on the inspirational tip for that particular day of the week: make friends with life. This was an especially good piece of advice for me today.

Because I work two jobs (teacher by day, writer//editor by night), I get a little bogged down in the muck of exhaustion and stress. I have many roles: wife, daughter, sister, writer, editor, teacher, martial arts student, friend, etc. The list could go on and on for each and every one of us. Though I have such a terrific and exciting life, I tend to get overwhelmed easily. Evelyn Lim’s words of inspiration and encouragement were a breath of fresh air this morning. I have to stop struggling to make it to the next moment. I need to enjoy the moment I’m in right now. I need to make peace with my moments–even if they are filled with fears or anxieties. When I get home to write and edit this afternoon, I need to be at peace with myself and the world so that I can give all I’ve got to my novel and my clients.

That involves making peace with the phrase, “I don’t know.” I don’t know what will happen when I leave my full-time day job. I don’t know what will happen once I publish my first book. It’s alright. I do not have to know what will happen next to be at peace with the here and now. I can take pride in knowing that I am working extremely hard to bring myself closer to my goals. I can rest in the knowledge that a Guiding Hand orders my steps. I can have joy in the days and weeks and months that it will take to be ready to start working at home.

So, for those of you who are struggling to quell the negative thoughts that surround your dreams, know that you are not alone. I am right there with you. For all you writers out there, like me, who are not published, but are daily working towards your goals…you’ll get there. It may take longer than you imagine. It may take much less time than you imagine. The sure thing is, life will always present us with opportunities for growth and change. It is up to us to react to those opportunities with gratitude and courage. Besides…who doesn’t want to follow their dreams? Store up good thoughts and intentions in your heart today. That will certainly set you on the right path to furthering your goals.

How do you deal with the stress of managing a day-job, a night-time writing schedule, and your familial commitments?  Comment! I’d love to hear about your journey!

-The Writer

Learning to Appreciate the Transition
  • Hello,
    My dream is to be a full-time editor and write novels/short stories on the side. So far my job hasn’t stopped me from writing because I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go, so I can write anytime. Just don’t tell my boss that LOL. I have a part-time job in the morning to afternoon, then two nights out of the week I teach Creative Writing to adults.

    I’m like you–I love editing. I love looking over my students work, giving feedback to my critique partners. I’m like a beta-reader, crit partner rolled into one because I don’t just look at grammar, etc. I point out story elements that need work on too, so I know I’d be a great editor.

    I researched online and it seems like people need an English major to succeed. Unfortunately, I received my Bachelor’s in Business Administration (at least if I started my own business, I could run it myself LOL). I did see that it’s still possible to become an editor without that degree, but it’ll be much harder getting your foot in the door.

    May I ask what steps you did to become an editor who found clients, etc?

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

  • Thank you for what you said about me and my site. It is a great privilege to know that my words have helped you somewhat.

    I enjoyed reading your post very much about making peace with the phrase “I don’t know”. I could identify with what you are going through in terms of the overwhelm. But I have also found that with the plodding on day-to-day, despite all the distractions, will get me there. It was the visioning, having the end goal in mind, that helped (and it did!)

    So I would like to encourage you to keep your spirits up! You can do it!

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