The Real, Really For Real, No Take-Backsies Begining

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.

Week 1: New Year, New Start

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:
    • Editing
    • Ads

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!

Week 0: Thus it Begins

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!¬†