Don’t give up the day job?

I don’t have any dependants but I do hold down a full time job. At least once a week I dream of jacking it in and trying to write full time. But as soon as the thought pops up, it’s quickly buried under a deluge of sensibleness and fear. Even fairly well published writers struggle to survive on writing alone and work to support their literary habits. So I’m nowhere near unrealistic enough to believe that there would be any way to recap the capital I’d lose by giving up the day job, even if my wildest fantasies materialised.

But man if it isn’t hard to squeeze the stories that I want to tell into the margins of real life. I just end up grumpy when I work too hard and guilty when I don’t set aside enough time for writing. Then I feel horribly antisocial when I turn down invites from friends to give myself extra time then feel as though I’m wasting my life when I don’t manage to put that extra time to good use.

I’ve been saving up money for years and, if I lived extremely frugally, I could maybe survive for 12 months on it. The money is technically for a flat now but once upon a time it was meant to be a writing fund so that I could do just that. The thing is, my worry that I’ll never be good enough for that to be the right thing to do with it is winning. How much belief in yourself do you need to give up the day job? Would you do it?

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