9 Days to the Quittening: The Anxiety Rises

August 28 will be my last day as a full-time state employee, after which I get to transition into my full-time job as a writer. I’m excited and eager and impatient. I can’t wait to have more time for writing various books and stories and other projects.

It also scares the hell out of me.

I’ve felt the stress and anxiety building as I get closer to Q-Day. Some of it is completely irrational. Significant life changes are always stressful. Even good changes.

Garth - We Fear Change

There’s also the rather long list of things I need to take care of at work before I leave, a list that keeps multiplying like gremlins in a hot tub. Everything from documenting my work and processes to finishing out various projects to making sure my family’s insurance will transition smoothly from my coverage to my wife’s.

There’s the financial side of things. I’ve done as much as I can to prepare for the change to our income. I’ve got things like the on-publication payment for Fable: Blood of Heroes, the D&A for Revisionary, the mass market payment for Unbound, and the hardcover payment for Revisionary all coming in over the next six months or so. But in the long term? We’ll see…

Then there’s the Imposter Syndrome lurking in the wrinkly shadows of my brain. “Oh, sure. You did pretty well when you were working a day job and putting out one book a year. But do you have what it takes to make it as a real writer?”

Imposter Syndrome is a jerk. I hate the idea that some people are “real” writers and other people aren’t. I’ve been a real writer for twenty years. But the fear is completely irrational, and this feels somehow realer. It’s another step up on the ladder, and that means another opportunity to fail.

It’s also another opportunity to succeed. It’s the chance to branch out and write new things, to put more energy and focus into my writing career and see what comes back.

I believe this will be a very good change for me and for my family. Hopefully for my readers as well. I’m excited about it, and I’m counting down the days. I’m particularly looking forward to waking up on Monday the 31st, looking at my clock, and then rolling over and going back to sleep. I’ve spent the past week and a half doing worldbuilding and outlining a brand new fantasy novel, and I can’t wait to start writing the story. I love that I’ll have more time to write, and could possibly get this written and submitted so much faster than my usual one book/year pace.

But the fear is there too. It probably always will be. If there’s no fear, no risk of failure, I figure that means I’m probably not reaching high enough.

Nine days and counting…