Thursday, June 08, 2006

Leaping With Glee

One of my mother’s favorite sayings was “Leap, and the net shall appear.”

As a single mother, she did that a lot. New jobs, new homes, new marriage…somehow, she had the faith she needed to make the leap, and somehow, it always worked out. Not necessarily the way it was expected, I admit, but always in a way that felt positive.

Today, I took my own leap. I have left my solid, secure, ego-boosting day job to write full time. To fully embrace the dreams I’ve been pursuing for nearly fifteen years. And it feels so good, I’m not even worried about the net.

Writing, like most creative pursuits, is a “don’t quit your day job” proposition. For every American Idol finalist there are hundreds of night club chanteuses and chanteurs struggling to find success. For every Orlando Bloom, there’s a Joey Tribianni. And for every Nora Roberts, there’s a me.

We work hard, fitting our writing time around all of our other obligations, working sometimes fulfilling, sometimes soul-deadening day (or night) jobs to feed our families and our NFL Sunday Ticket needs. Some of us can make that work and slowly build success, selling more and more books and building the writing income until it is enough to replace the day job’s income. But some of us need to take the leap.

Over and over again, throughout my entire life, I’ve heard about people who did it, who faced horrible odds and dire consequences, and found corresponding success instead. I’ve always known, deep inside, that I was going to be one of those people. It was only a matter of time until I reached the cliff.

My circumstances aren’t dire, of course. I have backup. I wouldn’t have quit my day job if my husband and I hadn’t positioned ourselves financially to absorb the hit. The sacrifices we will be making are closer to Netflix than fresh vegetables. And I’m doing it as much for my kids, the oldest of whom is entering middle school but still too young to be home alone every day, as for myself. It’s possible the gods who hold the net will laugh at my pathetic little jump (my vertical leap is about negative one inch). But I can’t know unless I try.

So here I go…


Karmela Johnson said...

Wow Natalie, congratulations!!! I'm so proud of you! ::raises champagne glass::

cadair said...

Yeah for my sister!!! Enjoy and I'll be waiting for every story!!

Meankitty Says... said...

Last time I quit my job to write I got knocked up instead. Oh, wait. That was on purpose.

Good luck!

MaryF said...

That is AWESOME, Natalie! I hope you find the success you deserve!

Natalie Damschroder said...

Thanks, everyone! I couldn't do it without my support group, among which I count you all.