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  • Writer's picturecassidyoconnorauth

Twenty-six weeks to Make it or Break it

The day after I turned seventeen I started working for a big corporation. Fast forward twenty years, I've climbed the ranks and done well for myself. That is until this round of layoffs which is an annual occurrence for our company. I was devastated when I was told my role was being eliminated. I had two weeks to train the person taking my workload then I was on my own. The one silver lining in all of this...I got twenty-six weeks of severance.

I know a lot of people who've gone through this but I never truly appreciated how they felt until now. It has been a slow crawl through the stages of grief. I admit there were tears and anger but I stayed professional and did what was asked of me. It helped I really liked the person taking over for me. It wasn't his fault I was gone so why should I treat him badly?

The first question I get from people when they find out is "What are you going to do now?" This is an interesting conundrum for me. See, I've been writing for five years now, I have fifteen books out BUT it was a part time gig that I gave as much time to as I could. Now I look at this layoff as an opportunity. Could I throw everything I have at writing over the next twenty-six weeks and turn this into my career? Everyone I talk to says it's possible but I should be realistic and get another job, strike while the iron is hot. Internally I pout at this advice, isn't this the chance everyone should want? Have a few months to try something new while still getting paid steadily?

I give my husband credit, he knows about my plan and hasn't pushed back on me. He even studied our budget spreadsheet to see how much we would need to cut back on if money did stop coming in. In a moment of desperation I even offered to do one hour of housework/laundry every day and maybe cook dinner sometimes. For those of you that don't know me, that is saying a lot. I am no domestic goddess AND I sure can't cook but if it saves money why not?

So, here's what's going to happen. For now, I am going to jump in to the full time authoring gig and see how it goes. If after two months I'm not getting anywhere I'll start looking around for 'day jobs'. I've also realized that I've never really been alone. My husband and I have been together since high school, we had our first child at nineteen so my life has been on full throttle for twenty years. I am thinking of renting a cabin for a week near the Smoky Mountains and just be alone. Alone with my writing, with my own thoughts, with me. I might bring my dog if he can take the ten hour drive but he can't be much of a distraction right?

So follow along my twenty six week journey, find out if I'm making progress, if I take the plunge and go somewhere alone, if I freeze to death in the cabin because I can't start a fire, and so much more.

If you have suggestions for ways I can make the most of my time as a full time writer please let me know in the comments!

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