Monday, 4 August 2008

Quiting the day job...living the dream?

On Friday 15th August 2008 I quit the day job after 18 years, 11 months and 16 days after I began.
To be a writer.
Firstly I know I'm fantastically lucky to have this opportunity and this time last year I had absolutely NO IDEA it would turn out this way. So luck, timing, awesome agent and lots of rewriting have paid off, big time.
Still...feeling pretty anxious about it all. There's a perculiar comfort is salary, sticking by the rules and (lets face it) a lot of practise and training as an engineer. There's a box, didn't realise it was a cage until quite recently but the sudden release into fresh air and the awesome unlimited scenery is frightening. I've been on a narrow road and stepping off the path is quite bewildering.
Of course, this is my dream. I haven't been able to sleep for the last few days because of the excitement. But...
I haven't finished. I have the deal, but no book. It's being rewritten, but it's not out, it's not on the shelves, its not sold by the truck-load so I can put my feet up with a cigar and say I'VE MADE IT.
You think once you have the agent, it's easy. It's not. Then you think once you have the deal, it's easy. It's not. Then the editor's comments, then the rewrite, then the copy-editor's comments and on and on. Once it's on the shelves I'm sure I'll be twitching and worrying about how to promote it, is it in all the bookshops, if not, why not, etc.
It's funny, I was far less frightened and worried before it all went well the way it did. Writing's all about drawing stuff out from your guts, how do you feel about what's going on. You can't find the answers on a chart, on the calculator or even in the thousands of books about writing. There is no formula, and that's what makes it so special, so exciting and worth all the effort and fear.

11 comments:

Tracy said...

WOW - CONGRATULATIONS on leaving the 9-5 behind.
Exciting times. :-)

Spud said...

Mr Chadda!! Many congratulations on the deal! It must be very scary indeed. The security of a steady job, no matter how you feel about the work, is hard to leave behind. A very brave move. I wish you every success with your new life!!! I know I will be buying a copy when it comes out.

Gareth said...

Congratualtions on taking the plunge, Sarwat!

I hear what you're saying about the changing pressures now you're a pro so question - Now writing is your day job does it take some of the fun/love out of it, stop you experimenting and exploring storyline tangents etc. Or does it help your target-orientated self?

Jon M said...

Exciting Stuff, Sarwat! A bold move and I know you were ruminating over it when we met, so well done!

On reading your last post, I was thinking, portfolio career? keeping on with the day job? what will he do?

None of it's easy. It shouldn't be, I suppose that's what makes it worth it.

SarwatC said...

Thanks, it is very exciting. Just hope I can keep it going as long as possible.
Gareth,
Cool website! Looks like you've put in a huge effort and sales look good, especially self-publsihed. Sounds like a saga in its own right.
I think the only way this is going to work is by treating it as a 'day job', and attach a nine to five attitude. I'm setting myself a one thousand words a day target to start with so Book 2 will be drafted before Xmas. I've actually blocked out my days so I don't sit around too much. Youngest daughter isn't at full time school quite yet so there's a bit of going to play groups chucked in.
Mr. Murphy, as handsome as ever or is that an old photo? I trust you'll buy copies by the box load!

tony d said...

Many many congratulations on finally getting the deal you so richly deserve.I know you haved worked yourself silly in getting the book completed over the last few years and it could not have happened to a nicer man.
Samuel says he can't wait to read the finished product.

J K Who?????????????

Stevyn Colgan said...

Sarwat ... Sarwat ... Sarwat ... good on you mate. Couldn't ahppene to a nicer bloke. If it makes you feel any better, the feeling of getting the actual book in your hands makes any scarifice seem worth it. I'm just starting the first rounds of interviews and publicity and it's all so exciting. Better than ... well, a good cup of tea anyway! I salute you!

p.s. That Murphy photo must be an old one. I just went to San Diego with him and his a wizened grey hobgoblin of a man these days ...

Stevyn Colgan said...

Ahppene? Scarifice? Curse you fat fingers! And beer.

Candy Gourlay said...

good boy! don't be scared, just keep taking the next step and the next and the next ...

SarwatC said...

Aw, shucks!
Your kind words have me blushing. I'm looking at the calender and thinking 'Bloody hell, only 7 working days to go' and trying desperately to clear my desk.
Tony,
Great to see you yesterday and what I'd like to point out is that Tony and Sam read my very very first attempts, back in 2005. They were part of the team that gave me the initial encouragement to think I could make a go of this, rather than just a hash.
Thnaks Candy!
I've added your blog to mine, and I'll have you know I'm constantly checking it for tips. Especially the one about typical writers' mistakes (overuse of exclaimation marks, etc).

Candy Gourlay said...

hey! don't remember anything about writer's mistakes!!! especially overuse of exclamation! marks!

go make waves!!!!!!!!!

love, candy (!)