“It once seemed all-important to get to a certain salary level; my professional self-worth was tied to that figure. Now, instead, I’m morphing into measuring my self worth through professional development and creative evolution.” ~Bethanne Patrick, What About the Money, Money, Money?, Between the Margins
I don’t suppose there is a writer among us who hasn’t dreamed of quitting their day job and writing full time. Just the thought of it conjures a laundry list of romantic possibilities – hours whiled away over legal pads covered in handwriting, stacks of books and articles amassed for research, long walks in the woods while pondering character and plot development.
Most full time writers would probably tell you the operative word in that paragraph is “dreamed,” because the reality isn’t always so rosy. Like any job, writing has its share of frustration, tediousness, and even abject failure.
As I scroll through the Twitter and Facebook posts from some of my favorite new authors, I notice a number of them taking the huge plunge, leaving behind flourishing careers in editing, publishing, and teaching in order to dedicate themselves heart and soul to the writing life.
Most importantly, they are making a success of this endeavor, publishing novels and memoirs. I stand in awe of their courage and self discipline. I know their rewards are great.
I think it marks an important change for the literary world when women who have what society might consider a dream career decide to exchange it in order to fulfill their creative dreams, to “measure self-worth…through creative evolution” rather than a certain salary level. It’s not easy, and certainly not always possible, to risk the security of steady income. But for those who have the opportunity to engage in the writing life full time and the dedication to be a writer writing – that’s what it’s all about.