I’m a full time writer. How the heck did that happen?

I am now officially a full time writer.  It amazes me to type those words…

And it amazes me that I typed that last sentence more than two hours ago.  See, I’m now a full time writer, but I’m also a full time stay-at-home dad.  In the background I hear toddler screams and the bickering between my eight and ten year old boys.  There are also dishes to wash, meals to prepare, bills to ponder.  Egad, time becomes a flighty thing, especially during summer vacation.

Okay, back to this new gig of mine.  How did I get here?  Well, I guess you could say that my wife twisted my arm.

I had wanted to quit my day job since I started it over five years ago.  It was supposed to be temporary.  Six months, a year, tops.  I’d been a stay-at-home dad for a few years when we needed a steady second income.  I enjoyed my time at home with my two oldest boys, but I did what I needed to for our growing family.  I found the best paying job I could find in my area, which also turned out to be the most strenuous job I’ve ever worked.  Twelve hour days three days a week in a warehouse where I was expected to manhandle cases of freight up to 100 lbs.

Did I mention I had a bad back even before I started this job?  My wife could clearly see the writing on the wall before I did.  The job took a toll on me physically.  I started missing more and more work because of my back.   In 2012, I had a flare up that resulted in me missing two months of work (which also derailed my writing for a time).  I had another flare up in early 2013, and by the time we took a family vacation at the end of June, even I was starting to see the writing on the wall.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.  My wife twisted my arm.  Pressured me to quit.  We discussed the ramifications.  The tighter budget.  But we also discussed the quality of life, not just for me, but for all of us if I were to stay home.  We hadn’t shared a day off together outside of the major holidays, the occasional vacation (and those pesky back flare ups) in over five years.

So I’m not a full time writer because I’ve consistently bested my day job earnings with my writing.  I have achieved that feat a number of times over the last two years (in some cases doubling my day job pay).  Other months my writing amounted to a small fraction of my day job earnings.   I’m a full time writer not because I’m rolling in the dough, but because it’s what’s best for my family.

I’m terribly lucky to have such a supportive wife.  She has a well-paying job, and she’s good at it.  What I think really makes this dynamic work is that she doesn’t like to do the laundry.  I don’t mind.  Not at all.  Not when the alternative is lugging 100 lbs cases all day long.

 

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About glenkrisch

Writer, freelance editor, runner, family man, wanna-be farmer, neo-luddite
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8 Responses to I’m a full time writer. How the heck did that happen?

  1. Paul D. Dail says:

    How the heck did that happen? Because you’re stinkin’ awesome, that’s how. Glad to see this post from you. I was going to contact you and let you know what happened to me recently. Several months ago I got “Brother’s Keeper”… or what I thought was “Brother’s Keeper.” Finally got around to reading it. Got totally sucked in. Turns out I must have got it in some sort of promotion or another because it was only the teaser. Well, you have sucked me in, my friend. I will definitely be purchasing the full novel.

    On other notes, this is great to hear. I’m also a stay-at-home dad (only part-time, though). I teach on alternating days, so unfortunately, it will only be my sanity that will be broken and hopefully give me an excuse to stay home to write full time (of course, both of my kids are toddlers, so writing when I’m at home these days is catch-as-catch-can, but someday…). But it’s great to hear your story. And great to hear that you are having successes that allow it to be “the best thing for your family.”

    Congrats.

    Paul Dail

    • glenkrisch says:

      Thanks, Paul. It’s scary, but I think we’ll make it work.

    • glenkrisch says:

      Funny you mention Brother’s Keeper. I was planning on publishing this trilogy of novels myself, but a publisher showed interest in doing the grunt work for me. I’ve been poring over the contract the last couple of days. If all goes as planned, the first novel will now come out in late 2014.

  2. Joe Hart says:

    Wonderful to hear it, Glen. I know where you’re coming from. I worked two jobs for six years before I was able to come home and write full time. Great feeling and I bet you’re floating right now. Wish you the best and I know you, your family, and your audience will benefit from you doing what you love full time.

    • glenkrisch says:

      Hi Joe,
      Thanks!
      I would love to hear if you have any tricks to getting in a consistent groove. Or is there such a thing? Some days I’m highly productive, others not so much. I stayed home for a few years when my oldest kids were babies. When I had a bad writing day, I would let it carry over to the next day. Now, if the writing isn’t happening, I’m trying to be easier on myself.

  3. I’m in a similar situation Glen and have six months left before I go back to full-time paid employment. Man, what would we do without those supportive partners eh? Great post.

    • glenkrisch says:

      Definitely. I’m hoping that if I do have to go back to a day job, it will be much less labor-intensive and closer to my chosen avocation. It’s hard for me to describe just how much better I feel on a day to day basis now that I don’t have that job. Before, most days I’d wake up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck.

      Are you finding it easy to be productive?

  4. Hunter Shea says:

    Congrats. You could have titled this post “Livin’ the Dream”!

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