On Dreams and Idiots

I’m an idiot. I must be, because I’ve always felt someone who leaves a perfectly good job to do something unpaid–like writing a novel–is an idiot. Yet, I’ve done just that. I’ve always thought you should get paid to do something before you decide to do it full time (with the exception of stay-at-home moms), but I’ve gone and quit my job without ever having earned a cent on writing. An idiot for sure.

Friday was my last day at NI. I’d been there for eight and a half years, with over five years in my current team. NI is where I met almost all of my close friends. It was a difficult decision to leave, but I knew I needed a change. I’d been getting the five year itch.

Dustin suggested I quit and try writing. It’s something that I enjoy, and I’ve gotten some positive feedback, so it wasn’t completely a shot in the dark. I have a novel started, but I’d been unable to summon up the creative energy required to work on it as my job got more and more draining.

So I quit.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t as easy as that. I agonized over the decision. I checked with Dustin about a hundred times to make sure he wasn’t going to regret the fact that I wouldn’t be pulling down a software developer salary anymore. I looked at our finances to see if it was even possible. I worried (and still worry) that I’d go crazy being home alone all day. Maybe I’d hate writing. Maybe I’d be terrible at it. Maybe I’d be good, but not good enough. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I squashed the maybes. I would never know that answer to any of those questions unless I tried it. And so I did. It’s not every day that you get to follow your dreams, to see where they’ll take you, for good or ill. I am truly blessed to be getting this chance.

4 Replies to “On Dreams and Idiots”

  1. I think it will be ok and if you write a great book you will get an agent and a contract. You are a great story teller and all you have to do is take that talent and transfer it to the page. Also, if you get lonely you can come over and see Prince Edward von Gigglestein.

    1. Thanks! If it works out, cool, if not, at least I can say I tried, and that’s something. It’s a pretty big step outside of my comfort zone (Change! AHHHHH!).

      I’ve had four years of college and eight years of work experience, so I’m confident that I don’t suck at software development. Mostly. Writing is still an unknown.

      And that’s a pretty big name for such a tiny kitty. :)

  2. Jessie, thanks for the shout-out to the FiveYearItch.

    I wish you the best in your new writing career — we in tech need people who know how to lift their heads out of the cubicle and look out to new horizons.

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