I’ve had days in my life before when I didn’t have to get up and go to my day job. Obviously. I’ve even had weekdays when I didn’t have to get up and go to my day job. Several of them in a row, even.
Today is different.
Today is the first day of my adult working life when I don’t have to go to a day job today… or tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. Or next year.
Today is the first day of my adult working life when I can spend the day writing… and can schedule my writing time knowing that I can spend tomorrow writing as well. And the next day. And next month. And next year.
Today is the first day of my adult working life when I can structure my entire day, and my entire week, around my writing. Obviously writing isn’t the only demand on my time — I have my marriage, my friendships, my family, my own need for down time. But like many people, work is the skeleton around which the rest of my time gets built. Today is the day that I get to start building that skeleton myself.
I am so happy, I can barely speak.
I’m finding that — apart from the obvious happiness — my main emotion today is curiosity. What is my life going to look like, now that I don’t have a day job to structure it around? Will I go to bed at midnight and get up to start writing at 8 am? Will I stay up writing until four in the morning, and sleep until noon? How will I schedule my long term projects, such as books, around my day-to-day projects like blogging? Will I mostly work at home, or at cafes, or what? Will I finally get to take weekends off? How will I structure a full day of computer time around the fact that Comet is obsessed with chewing my charger cord? Will I ever get out of my bathrobe?
I am dying to find out. It’s weird to feel curious about something that is essentially under my own control — but that’s what it is. A very happy and excited curiosity.
Tinged with a touch of bittersweet. I worked at Last Gasp for almost ten years, and I have a real attachment to the place. It has an incredible history — one of the first publishers of underground comix, one of the first places to publish Robert Crumb, publishers of the legendary “Zap” and “Weirdo” comix, key player in the burgeoning lowbrow art movement. Plus, just generally, they’ve been hanging in there for decades, helping to keep alternative/small press/ micro-press/ freak-ass book culture alive. I feel proud and honored to have been part of it for so long. They’ve also been incredibly supportive of me and my writing/ speaking career… including being WAAAAY more flexible than any normal workplace would have been about my frequent absences to fly around the country inciting godlessness. And the people there are an awesome bunch of smart, funny, talented, good-hearted, independent-minded, book-obsessed weirdos. I feel privileged to have worked with them. I am genuinely going to miss the place.
But I am also overcome with joy.
I busted my ass to get here. I’ve worked hard and have made real sacrifices, for many years, to get to a place where I could support myself with writing. But I also recognize that I’ve been seriously fucking lucky. Lots of writers and other artists bust their ass for years, and don’t get where I’ve gotten. I’ve had a lot of lucky breaks. And I’ve had a lot of support: from friends, from family, from colleagues, tons and tons and tons from Ingrid…
…and, obviously, from readers. Anyone who donated to a pledge drive; anyone who linked to my writing in their own blog; anyone who Tweeted or Facebooked or Reddited or emailed my writing; anyone who commented on my blog in a non-douchey way; anyone who bought my book; anyone who supported my blog and my writing in ways I haven’t listed here — I am more grateful than I can say. I will do everything I can to make y’all proud.