Life · Writing

Escaping the 9-5

About ten years ago, I said to one of my friends: “All I want to do is write books.” …She replied: “That’s just a dream, though.” I am not friends with her anymore, funnily enough.

However, unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, most novelists don’t make tonnes of money, so despite having four books published, I was, until recently, still working full time as well. And, for the most part, I was bored. Over the years, I’ve had some awesome colleagues, and I’ve had some OK jobs where I’ve managed to get some satisfaction now and then. But mostly, I was bored. I was dreaming of escaping the “9 to 5” office environment and breaking free on my own.

Now, that dream as come true.

I’m now self employed, working for myself writing books, writing marketing copy, proof-reading and offering marketing services to a number of clients. I do this half the time, and I write half the time.

It’s early days, but I love it. I love the freedom.

I love being able to decide to take a day off at a moment’s notice (so long as there is no deadline, of course). I love being able to work in the garden on a sunny day. I love being able to dodge the corporate bullshit that drains the enthusiasm out of many a hard worker. I love being to get up and think: ‘today I’m just going to work on my novel.’

I know so, so many people that really don’t like their jobs. They feel taken advantage of, stuck, bored, underpaid, overworked and stressed by their workloads. If this describes you, here is my advice (after years of the same, and a lot of personal resilience development):

  1. Find a job you enjoy. Don’t settle for anything less.
  2. Don’t stress about work! Unless you’re a nurse or doctor, it’s not life or death.
  3. Leave on time. Balance your life.
  4. Don’t let others ruin your day. You are in control. It’s your life. Don’t let the behaviour of others influence you in a negative way.
  5. If you’ve got a dream; chase it. Do what it takes. It might take time, but just get on with it. Start today.

That’s all for now. I have writing to do in the garden 🙂

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