So, the decision has been made that I’m going to devote myself full time to becoming a writer.
Yeah, those may be the scariest words I’ve ever written. It’s and exciting, incredible, and absolutely terrifying notion that might end up ruining my entire life but the time has come. It isn’t going to be an immediate thing, mind you. I’m still in the planning stages, saving money and making cutbacks in my life that will allow me to survive and keep doing the things I love like living indoors and eating food. Still, it’s exciting to know that twenty years after I wrote my first short story I’m actually going to make the leap from amateur hobbyist to professional freelancer.
My girlfriend, Maggie, is the one who looked at me and told me she wanted this to happen. I’d played with the idea off and on for years but one night as we were talking about my current job and weighing the pros and cons of staying where I am, she told me that it was time to take a risk. She’s pretty great like that, always thinking and planning where as I’m always flying by the seat of my pants and figuring shit out as I go. Together, we know all the things that we need to do, the changes in our lifestyle and spending that have to be made, and the hard work still ahead of us. But for the first time in my life I feel like I’m finally on the right track. I’ve been working in a 911 center since I was 21 years old and, despite not being in a huge, metropolitan area, the city I work for is big enough that we routinely have tragedy and trouble. There are calls I’ve taken, people I’ve lost and voices that whisper to me like ghosts at night as I lay in the darkness staring at the ceiling that will never let me go. Even writing those words I can hear them, feel them and it makes me sick to my stomach.
This is a part of the reason why I’m taking this leap. I’m trying to save myself, maybe even save my soul from the kind of damnation a man can make for himself in his own mind under the right circumstances. Less maudlin and dramatic, however, I simply need a chance to do what I love, to practice a skill that I have some talent at and see if I can turn this craft, my calling, into a sustainable career. I even listed out the pros and cons involved. While the cons involved things like the loss of a steady paycheck and having to work my way up from the bottom again, the pros outnumbered them 2 to 1. Sure, there’d be less money which always causes a stress, but there’d be a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that would improve my health and help me build better relationships with the people who matter. Instead of working for someone else in a dead end job with no chance of advancement or better pay, I’d be my own boss working towards the goals that were important to me.
So, while I’m in the process of saving money, counting the days, and getting my mind right for the future, I’m going to have to make some changes on the blog. In the past, this page has been a dumping ground for the mind spew that explodes out of me. Everything from half formulated stories and fragmented notions to rants, ramblings, and a slew of shameless self promotions. What I need to do is focus that beam, make it less scatter shot and more honed to the goal I’m working towards. In the coming weeks and months there’s going to be more posted, from articles about writing and links to great websites to original short fiction and, of course, a ton of self promotion and marketing. In the meantime, enjoy the content that’s up and keep looking for new stuff as I (gradually) begin to live the dream.
And be sure to share this card with all your horror fiending friends.