Three years ago next month I decided to switch careers and finally, after many fitful starts and stops over the years, to get something going with my writings. I'm currently still in IT in the Health Insurance industry. That's not been doing that great or being as stable as it once was. There's been many layoffs over the past years and I had to face facts that it was entirely possible I could be out of a job at some point. But I've been one of the lucky ones who has retained my position and I'm still there. It has paid the bills, raised the kids and gotten them out the door to adulthood. So now I'm living alone, writing, and taking it as a full time job, as well as maintaining my full time day job.
Since I started three years ago, I have begun a Blog with now over 1,000 articles on it and I'm not ever sure how many readers there are with all the feeds going on. Originally I was doing two blogs a day and now I'm down to once a week, simply due to lack of time. I joined Twitter where I now have over 13,000 followers at the time of this writing. As of recently, I have a several websites including JZMurdock.com, and two for my books, AnthologyofEvil.com, and DeathOfHeaven.com.
And please feel free to drop by my new interview with Indies Unlimited, live as of yesterday.
Because of my screenplays that I have online on MovieBytes.com, I was asked to adapt the first book of a paranormal romance book series. That began several professional relationships, got two of my short stories into two separate horror anthologies (both for charity), I got my first short story on Amazon (Simon's Beautiful Thought, which has a very nice review on it there now), my first Horror book, Anthology of Evil is now on Amazon and Smashwords as both ebook and paper versions; and my first Horror Sci Fi book, Death Of Heaven about to go up on those sites.
I completed a horror comedy screenplay "HearthTales", which I have been told, could easily go into a franchise film series just from the two female Steampunk demon hunter characters alone (named, Gray and Lover). To get an idea of their dynamic and how well this worked, see "Lost Girl" the TV series. They are still very different characters than the TV show, but you'll get the idea; and I created them before that show was ever on the air. I have also worked with a mentor/producer on a Frank Capra type, small town America screenplay and well, I have many more concepts to write in various formats than I have time for. Basically one of the things keeping me from being more productive is my day job.
I still have to write around that job and it's a lot of work, but as my son pointed out when I got burned out a while back, I have really accomplished quite a bit since I start all this. As he put it, I kept thinking I was on the bottom rung in making this all happen, when in reality, I was several rungs up already, and that was a year ago.
Had I waited till now to get all this going, look at how much I would have to achieve to catch up. That just screams that if you want to make changes, Now, is the time. My goal and dream at this point is to quit my day job and I have a series of reasonable financial goals to achieve leading up to that point, and after. I figured that since any new business makes it or fails in 5-7 years, I am doing pretty well over all, even though at times it all seems rather hopeless. But really, that has a lot to do with keeping one's energy up and available. And using it economically. It's a marathon after all, not a sprint.
I started all this with the concept of working two full time jobs for a while, set fully in the front of my mind. After all, if you play with this as a hobby, you are probably wasting your time. Though not necessarily. I'll grant you, there are "accidental" over-night successes, but really, they are very few and very far between when you consider the number of writers trying in that way, and failing. If you are serious, you really do have to put in the sweat labor.
I also decided in the beginning that I wouldn't turn down any job offered and there were a few I would normally have turned down, but I didn't. Most of what I have achieved up to this point wouldn't actually have happened, had I not given myself those two initial challenges; to write as a full time job and to accept any offer if it was reasonable and I could fit it in. All, so that I would make more connections, acquire more finished works in my catalog, and learn, learn, learn.
So, for any of you who are trying to do this, all I can say is:
And never say die!