Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Writing Full-Time


A few months ago I made the choice to take a step back from the whole lawyer-gig. After spending five years behind a desk drafting legal documents and inside the Family Courthouse arguing cases, I decided to refocus my efforts. 

Many factors influenced this decision, among them:
  • My darling 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with a severe speech delay. I didn't really need the official diagnosis to know she needed all the help and energy I could afford her, but it was a wake up call.
  • My fifteen other children (just kidding...I only have four children, it just feels like fifteen) were becoming increasingly more active in their lives too and needed more of my attention.
  • And I'm not gonna lie...I WANTED MORE WRITING TIME! I signed with one of the most amazing agents in the industry (Sarah Davies) and I felt that she deserved my best efforts.
So I did it! I took a "leave of absence" from my firm, and now I consider myself a "professional writer." I still take a few legal cases now and then, help file a few divorces in my spare time (sad but true), but I have taken a real step forward into this writing-gig. I may not truly be writing "full-time" since I have all those kids to carpool and feed, but it's definitely "full-time-ish," since nearly every possible waking moment is devoted to writing, blogging, reading, etc.

Some days I ask myself, "Self, are you crazy?"

And I answer, "Obviously, since I'm talking to myself."

Then I shut up and get to writing again. After all, I have to get to work! :)

28 comments:

  1. Jessie, I stepped away from a 20+ year career in higher ed to pursue this gig. All my education, including an MA, and all my experience trained me for a long career I thought would take me until retirement. Suddenly, staring down the barrel of 50, I decided to take this leap and haven't looked back. It meant a fairly large lifestyle adjustment to do without my salary, but I love writing and am much more peaceful. I say, GO YOU!

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    1. Yay, Julie! I didn't know that you did that! That takes courage and confidence in yourself. So I say, GO YOU TOO! :)

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  2. It's a bold step, but one that will be well worth it for both your family and your writing.

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  3. Not crazy, you're living the dream. Go for it.

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  4. What an amazing decision! You're so awesome and I totally admire you! Go for it! :)

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  5. Sounds like a great step in the right direction and best wishes with your daughter. I'm sure the extra time with her can only be a positive thing :)

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  6. Yep, I stepped away from 10 years in business management to write. Loving every minute. And of course, your kids come first - you won't ever get that time back. Good for you, Jessie!

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  7. That's the BEST!

    And for the record, this:

    Some days I ask myself, "Self, are you crazy?"

    And I answer, "Obviously, since I'm talking to myself."


    made me spit diet coke on my screen. Thanks for that. :)

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  8. There are days when I miss practicing law, but most of the time I'm so happy to be writing full time that it's almost, not quite, but almost embarrassing.

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  9. I always say...you have to do what feels right for you. (Or 'write' for you. Hahaha. Puns!) I feel like it is the DREAM to be a full time writer and never work again but thats not quite the reality anymore, not for all of us. I love hearing that you made it, slow and steady wins the race you know? :)

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  10. You are my hero, and maybe one day I can follow suit. I hope it works out for you. I'm glad you're also doing this to care for your kids. Family trumps work, and in our society, a lot of people don't get that. Good luck and congratulations!

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  11. It is so great that you can be their for your children and do what you enjoy. Congrats on taking the leap.

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  12. Live the dream, Jessie! Go for it and enjoy your kids.

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  13. Good for you, Jessie! I'm glad you made the right choice for you and your family at this time. :)

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  14. Wow, that's exciting!! Glad you are able to do this.

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  15. Way to go. I don't think you'll ever look back and regret this decision.

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  16. Way to go, Jessie! That's a big - and awesome step.

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  17. That's an awesome decision, Jessie! It takes a lot of courage to do that. I don't have the time right now to write full-time, but maybe in the future.

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  18. Go you! Now we get more of your time, too. ;)

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  19. I've heard of several lawyers who become fiction writers, and they've done well for themselves. I've heard that lawyers have to work 60 or 70 hour weeks (or in some cases even more), which would make it nearly impossible to make time for fiction writing. I think it's perfectly understandable that you would want to spend more time with your children; more power to you!

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  20. Pretty amazing, that's what this is. I admire your drive. Lately, I've been trimming back all kinds of things that were pulling me in different directions and have been asking myself--do I really want to do this at the expense of writing? NO!

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  21. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you're a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come back at some point. I want to encourage continue your great work, have a nice evening!

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  22. You're totally crazy (and hot) so don't let people stress you out. Do what you think you SHOULD do. Those kids will one day be as crazy (and hot) as you are and they need you to guide them. Plus there are a whole bunch of other kids who read YA and will need the words you put to paper.
    Just ride the wave, surfer girl. The crazy wave called life.

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  23. Good for you! Sometimes our careers aren't meant to be straight roads. Congrats on going full time with the writing and the kid stuff!

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  24. You're already on your way. Glad you're making room for more writing. The world is in need of your voice. :)

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  25. This is so cool Jess. And I am definitely a little bit jealous. I am lucky though, with my nine to five, I do a bit of travel so it affords me a good amount of time to write.

    Enjoy being an author and mommy! :)

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  26. Ha ha like that..... it just feels like fifteen.

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