Labor Day Countdown!
4 months, 1 week, 1 day...

That's how long it will be before I take early retirement from the day job and write full-time!

I'm excited and scared at the same time. The day job has been getting increasingly stressful over the last few years, not only leaving me with less energy to write when I'm home but making me dread going in every morning. Still, it's a steady paycheck and one I could collect for quite a few more years.

I've spent the last several years paying off the extra bills and building up my back list. I have a nineteen releases out now, one in the schedule (Silken Canvas - Dec 25th!!),a submitted partial, a manuscript my editor requested that I'm working on now, first drafts of novellas waiting to be worked on, and pages of single story and series ideas just waiting to be written.

So I'm taking a leap of faith. We can pay the bills without my writing income, but if we want to travel and go to conferences and add on that garage we've always wanted, it'll be up to me to take advantage of less stress and more time, and write all the stories taking up space in my head and on my hard drive.

I can't wait!

So has anyone else ditched the day job to write full time? Any tips on time management? Any pitfalls I should be looking out for as I celebrate my last Labor Day weekend at the day job?

Plaything - Paolo's Playhouse #4
Silken Canvas - Dec 25th

21 Responses
  1. Maria D. Says:

    Congratulations on becoming a full time writer and Good Luck with all of your plans:)

  2. Ashlyn Chase Says:

    Fabulous plan, Natasha!

    I quit nursing to pull stories out of my a$$ and haven't looked back. In fact, my deepest fear is having to work outside the home again!

  3. Leanna Craig Says:

    Natasha - contratulations on your "planned retirement" from the non-literary job :) It's sounds like it's equal parts exciting and scary but I know you wouldn't want it any other way!

  4. Thanks, Maria! Hope to have lots of new books for you to enjoy :)

    That's what I want to hear, Ash! No regrets!

    Leanna, I tell everyone I'm not really retiring, I'm just going to my second career.

  5. Yes, you're right - how exciting and scary! I'm sure it will work out, though - you're very talented!

    I did stop looking for a full-time job to concentrate on writing, but never quit a job to write. More power to you!

  6. Leigh Court Says:

    I'm green with envy, Natasha! Wish I could do the same. Good luck to you -- you're an awesome writer, and I look forward to reading lots more of your stories!


  7. I quit my job a number of years ago to write full time and the mistake I made was constantly focusing on what my contribution was to our finances. The stress became worse than that of the day job I'd left. This year, despite full time earnings from my writing, I went back to the day job, so I could concentrate on enjoying the process of writing rather than on the fear of not making enough money. My advice, keep in mind that writing is something you love, not just something you must do to pay the bills. Congratulations and good luck!

  8. Thanks, Cassandra. I was going to say I'll keep my fingers crossed...but I'll need them busy on the keyboard!

    Thanks, Leigh. You'll get there one day!

    Thanks for the advice, JAC. I'll try not to trade one stress for another.

  9. When we moved in mid-July, I quit my job and haven't looked back. Do we need my income? Not as much as we thought but I have started an author services business and I'm writing again.

    I don't have any writing advice but I would agree...don't sweat "do we need the extra income".

    Everything will work out in the end.

    Congratulations on being able to quit. :)


  10. Good for you, Marika! Good luck with your writing :)

  11. Helen Says:

    Hi Natasha,

    As someone who also took early retirement to write full time I just wanted to say it's worth the risk. What I'm really impressed with is what you've accomplished already. Just imagine what you can do once you're no longer tied down to the evil day job. Good luck and congratulations!

  12. Hey Helen! Thanks for stopping by. Bet you're enjoying being a full-time writer :)

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Isn't it great you have writing?? :)

  15. Congrats, Natasha. Despite my 14th Harlequin Intrigue coming out in Oct. as well as four self-pubbed books currently available along with some Red Sage releases, I am not ready to take that leap yet. I'm still working the full-time day job and although I keep saying I'm going to quit and concentrate on writing full-time, it's just really hard to give up a steady income (especially with two teenage boys eating me out of house and home!) Good luck!
    P.S. This is my 10th time trying to enter the characters! LOL

  16. That's awesome, Natasha! You'll love it!

  17. Thanks for sharing, Carol. I think I've gotten to the point where the stress of the day job is affecting everything else. (And with one kid married & the other engaged - I don't have to feed them on a daily basis lol)

    Thanks, Vonda! I'm looking forward to it!

  18. Roz Lee Says:

    How exciting!! Congratulations! I'm sure it's going to be an adjustment, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough. I find it difficult to ignore the things that need to be done around the house - the things I wouldn't see if I were working outside the house. Get some blinders, and make sure the area directly in front of you is neat, then maybe the messes surrounding you won't be a distraction! LOL

  19. Congrats! So excited for you.

  20. Congratulations, Natasha. That's a huge step and I think you'll do great! I've been writing full-time for years, but only because my wonderful DH supports me. So the only advice I can give is to treat it like a job and not let others infringe on your work time with long personal phone calls and expectations that you can do lunch, or handle this, that, and the other because you're at home etc. Plus, if you've got kids in the house, a good set of noise-cancelling headphones can be a boon :)

  21. Hi Roz!! Thanks for the advice. I have a door on my office and I plan to use it :)

    Kimberly! Thanks for stopping by!

    Hey Maree! My fear is that I'll want to take advantage of meeting friends for breakfast and lunch. Maybe once a week? :) I've found those headphones are great when hubby watches TV :)

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