At cocktail parties and happy hours, I would laugh when someone asked me what I did for a living.
I would laugh in their face and say “I have a job, it’s just a job,” and change the subject. I’ve worked day jobs since I finished college, through grad school and into my 30s, but like plenty of us creative types who can’t make a living in our chosen field, I was ashamed of it.
A few months before my grandfather died he asked me why, if I believed in my writing so much, I’d never taken a leap of faith, quit my job and thrown myself into it full force. I had so meany really plausible answers as to why not, but the main reason was that I was scared to trust. His question rankled, and after he died, I sucked up all my courage and quit my job, relying on savings.
My husband has been supportive, but financially it’s been a struggle. My first novel is nearly complete, and I have been commissioned to write a new play for a San Francisco theater company. Neither of these offer a living, but they do give me life.
Every day I wake up and face my choice. The hardest part of this reset is facing, daily, the fear of uncertainty and trusting in my own ability to make stories, make the life I want to live and do it full force, without holding back.