Mostly because I gave notice this past Friday at my daytime job.
If–when–this endeavor is successful, then I’ll tell you how much I was making. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t exactly a pittance.
But, as Ceasar himself said (and we all know quotes gained tenth-hand can’t be untruths): We’ve crossed the Rubicon. I’m officially a Romance Writer, y’all!
Actually, I don’t have a firm quitting date. The beauty of eventually being my own boss is that I don’t have to answer to anyone, including a new job. I certainly don’t want to leave my current position in the lurch so I told them that my end date was flexible…to an extent. Still, I really want to get into a rhythm of waking up naturally, going to the gym when not everyone and their sister is there, working on creative endeavors in my PJs, making leisurely lunches and maybe taking a long walk outside, watching the sun set from my apartment, and having the night be all mine instead of squeezing in those precious hours to write.
I won’t go into the details of how or why I’m taking the leap now, but–this being a sort of educational blog–I do feel the need to give a few disclaimers and caveats.
- I have a healthy FU fund. Two years of bare basic living expenses (rent, insurance, Top Ramen)
- I have a fairly successful current Romance Pen name that could easily cover the bare basic living expenses if I published monthly.
- That pen name is my “bread and butter” which I will use as a foundation to reach the stratosphere of Financial Independence in the next few years. Just you watch me!
- I have a mother who would welcome me into the warm comfort of her third bedroom rent-free in a heartbeat if it came to that. Note: it will not come to that.
- I have always had an anti 9-to-5 mentality. Even in grad school I was figuring out ways to work for myself, so this leap isn’t as terrifying for me as it may be for some.
First of all, Happy New Year!
My original plan was to hit the ground running with a fully finished novel and $1000 to get things going. So much for best laid yadda, yadda, yadda….
Instead, I have several half finished novels and…no fucking clue. Scratch that, I have a sort of clue, mostly because I have forced myself into a niche that is potentially profitable and something I can actually stomach writing.
So we begin with one pen name that has a seedling social media presence. In order of importance: Facebook, Instagram, blog, Pinterest, Twitter. I also have a book that I think will work well to start with. Now I just have to finish the damn thing.
I teetered back and forth with the idea of multiple pen names, mostly because I have some sort of ADHD that gets bored with one thing at a time, but with a day job, that’s just too many bowling pins to juggle. Perhaps when I quit, or this pen name completely bombs.
So again, starting off the year with:
- One Pen name for full-length novels (55K words or more)
- $1000 to get me rolling specifically with:
To Do this week:
- At least one social media thing a day
- Work on a cover for the first book
- 4000 a day, NO EXCUSES!
And since this is the first post of the New Year, 2018 GOALS:
- $500,000 in gross income from writing
- Start an LLC or some sort of limited liability company
- 10,000 Newsletter subscribers
- Make it to the Top 100 in Romance on Amazon
- USA Today bestseller
- Quit day job? (Only if Congress gets it’s act together re: ACA)
If you’re going to dream, dream big!
NOTE: Forget this post…it was during an earlier hopeful phase.
Earlier this week I made the decision to quit my day job.
For various reasons, I can’t leave until March at the earliest, which gives me a good 6 months to get this Romance Writing ball rolling. So instead of January 1, 2018 being my official start,
I start now October 1, 2016. Sorry!
I consider this a good thing since I thrive under pressure.
Already it has forced me to figure out what niche I’ll be in and how many pen names to have. My plan is as follows:
- Have one pen name that writes the more smutty novella stuff that I can pump out more regularly, but still earn a decent amount to pay for the big stuff like advertising, editing, and covers
- Have another “serious” pen name that focuses on novels in a single niche that is very branded. I want people to 1-click the fuck out of that pen name and make money on it even when I finally reach Early Retirement.
There’s nothing I love more than a challenge so I’m turning this into one. Which Pen Name will be the bigger success: Smutty McSmutface or Serious Romance*?
If you look at the current Top 100 of romance you’ll see a mix of both, so it truly is a toss-up. My rules:
- I will dedicate an equal amount of time and effort to each. This doesn’t mean I’ll be doing the same exact thing for both, just doing what I need to in terms of what (I suspect) the audience would prefer. So for example, I won’t be hiring professional cover models for the Smut and Facebook advertising, which is notoriously prudish, will be tricky, but I will be very active with the newsletter, Pinterest, and Facebook groups.
- I will dedicate an equal number of words per day to each. This may be a switch off each day or a division of a daily total. I haven’t figured it out yet.
And we’re off! May the best pen name win!
*Note: when I say “Serious” romance I don’t necessarily mean my niche will be the deep and heavy stuff. For all you know I could be writing romcom!