Week 39

So I've given up my job to write. A huge decision. Difficult. Scary. And what's the one thing I haven't done much of in the last few weeks since making that decision? Write. Leaving your job takes time - you need to change your bank details, draw up budgets, and make contacts that might lead to new work. You need to go out for last drinks with your colleagues. See people for the last time. Get new business cards made.

So writing has suffered, but in the long run, once I've started some part-time work I've got lined up, I'll have two extra days a week to write.

I worry this is the wrong decision, that I won't use the time correctly, that I'll buckle under the pressure to write. I might have given up my career a little prematurely; after all, there's no guarantee my novel - if I finish it - will even sell.

The alternative wasn't really working though. Plenty of people with full-time jobs manage to write in their spare time, but I found it really hard to keep the pressure on every morning/evening and at weekends. I've written almost 60,000 words in the last nine months, but every day I didn't get to write, I started feeling stressed and frustrated. It's hard to write regularly, even harder to write every day, when the majority of your time every week is actually spent in an office or travelling to that office.

I enjoy my job, it's creative and challenging and I was very lucky to do it. But ever since I started writing in earnest, I have to admit it's paled in comparison. I want to change career. I now know I want to write more than anything so I've decided to find a more flexible arrangement that lets me give that a go. I want to write my book sooner rather than later, get it out faster than I would at my current rate. I don't want to take three years to write it.

My plan is to finish the first draft of my novel by Christmas this year, then do two rewrites before next summer. Maybe then it'll be in a good-enough state to start sending out to agents. If nothing else comes of it, at least I can say I wrote a novel from start to finish.

But first, I need to get all that admin sorted, and start writing again. And just in time for NaNoWriMo! Good luck to everyone taking part.

Word count this week: 0 Total word count: 69,688 First draft: 59,672