At the end of March, I will be leaving my day job in its current capacity, at least for a while. Writing full time has been a dream for many years and, I admit, I’m quite excited to embark on this new adventure! But I’m also little scared too.
We’ve made some changes at home. Most of my husband’s guitars (he has six) have been moved out of the spare room (I’ve had to agree to house at least two of them in the lounge!) and a desk has been installed to give me a designated working area so that my whole house won’t constantly feel like a place of work. Thanks to the many friends online who suggested this might be a good idea! I hesitate to call this room an office, or a study. Years ago, when my husband was a mature student at university, his parents created a room in their family home for him to do his college work in. He plastered music posters on the walls, nothing to do with his degree course I hasten to add(!), and called it his ‘fun basement’. Our spare room isn’t in the basement, it’s on the first floor, however I think this title is a much better fit. It suggests a space that, as a family, we can all frequent at different times, perhaps to use the computer, or to read; a place where my daughter can plan out her recipes, or my husband can plug in his amp and play the guitars still left in there.
Finishing my day job hasn’t been an easy decision to make. As much as I love my writing, I’ve been with the company for fourteen years and I work with a fantastic group of people. As the end of March draws nearer, I’m starting to realise how much I am going to miss everyone. Last week my MD very kindly asked me to continue, possibly doing a couple of days a month, to write their marketing newsletter and do some other ad hoc tasks, so maybe this will alleviate those initial fears.
I can’t deny, it will be lovely to have more space to devote to my writing, but it does inject a sense of trepidation too. For the past seven years, I have been used to writing wherever I am: sitting up in bed late at night, on the sofa in the front room in the early hours, at the kitchen table on a weekend; not to mention tapping at the keys of my laptop while I am out and about, if the opportunity arises. I have notebooks and scraps of paper all over the house, and constantly email thoughts and ideas to myself using my phone. My first five books have been written amidst this organised chaos. Keeping my work in one place should give me a sense of focus, right? I do hope so, although I am a little fearful that the formal setting will cause the ideas to dry up and I’ll be left staring at a blank screen! Time will tell.
There is a more personal reason for the change too. My daughter starts her A levels in September. In two years she has plans to go away to university to study her beloved food science. Even if she changes her mind and these plans don’t go ahead, it’s a reminder that she is growing older and becoming more independent as the months and years pass. I’d like to make the most of our time together while she still lives at home.
So, as of the beginning of April, I will be a full writer in my own fun basement! I wonder how it will go…