Two years ago yesterday, I walked out of my old job.
Most of the previous ten years there had been enjoyable, if fairly dull. I liked my colleagues and the wages were good, but there was no sense of achievement or fulfilment. I wasn’t making anybody’s world a better place, least of all mine.
Then there was a change of management and things went downhill fast. In the end, I decided I’d had enough of being mistreated, abused and underappreciated. So I turned off my computer (a whole two hours early!) gathered the pictures of my girls from my desk, and left. I had no new job to go to, but I knew I wasn’t going back there.
So I decided to go full time with the writing. It was one of those pivotal moments in life. I’d taken a leap of faith, a bit like Indiana Jones stepping off the edge of that cliff in The Last Crusade. Or perhaps I’m giving myself a bit too much credit here – it’s more like God was pushing me off! I wasn’t happy in my old job, but it had been too comfortable to leave. Then Someone turned the heat up and I had to go.
It was a scary experience, but as so often happens when you step out, the path has risen up to meet me. Shortly after deciding to write full time, I was contacted by two publishers interested in my next project. The result was a contract from Canelo to relaunch my five Odysseus books and publish the sixth. They also offered me a new contract for a trilogy on Heracles, the first of which is coming out next month. That will carry me through to next year, and hopefully beyond (if the Heracles books do well).
Taking a risk can blow up in your face, and so far I’ve been lucky. But if we don’t take risks, we stagnate. Nothing changes. We never find out what we’re capable of, or whether our dreams can become reality.
After all, we’re all destined to die in the end, so we might as well live a little on the way!