I am three weeks away from my last day of work.
I am extremely grateful for the congruence of privileges that means I’m able to do this while we still meet our financial commitments and maintain our standard of living. (Would we be able to afford bigger and better stuff if I kept working? Yes. Is bigger and better stuff more important than doing something I desperately want to do, and also having the time to identify music and museums and things that will make our lives richer and interesting? Hell no.)
So that was making the decision. Next challenge: living la vida non-full-time-paid-working.
Obviously, the goal is to write heaps more (and, much like the cylons, I have a plan). But I must admit, I’m a little concerned about my self-discipline. It’s never been my strong suit, and I’ve not really ever had to learn it (until recently). Given all of my days to arrange as I see fit, I am well aware of my strong leanings towards shenanigans, social media and re-reading the entire works of David Eddings back-to-back (or every piece of Raven Boys fanfic on the entire internet…). I am in charge, and I am an old-hand at getting around myself.
That said, in the past six months (since I decided I wanted to do NaNoWriMo with a new project and therefore I had to finish my old project and therefore I was going to try out Camp Nano) I have demonstrated capacity in discipline, habit-forming and -holding and general not-being-a-complete-time-waster that I had not hitherto known I had. (Whoo! Go me!) So… I’m quietly hopeful that I’ll be able to manage something that looks more or less like discipline. I’m aware that it might take me a while to find a balance between culture and fun. I’m determined to be relatively stern with myself. I’ll give it a month, and see whether I’m happy with how I’m trucking.
My mother-in-law asked concerned questions about how I’ll cope “without all the interactions of the workplace”. I considered pointing out the wonders of the internet, not to mention how I often actively dislike interacting with people (…in the workplace), but in the end I noted that there was a small something to what she said, and ensuring I had some non-cat, non-husband, in-meat-space interaction every week was a good idea. Friday drinks with my best girls will help, but I’m also thinking lunches with friends (so much easier if only one of us has to race back to work), visiting people, not to mention the tried and true writing in a cafe malarkey. (I have been really curious about what happens in my suburb during the working week, though I suspect it’s probably going to enrage me on some level.)
On a slightly more hopeful note, I’m curious about how this might change my writing output. Will I work faster with more time? Will I work less efficiently, but still produce more? Or will I work at the same speed, but deeper and better (writing better first draft, for instance) when I’m more immersed in the project on a day-to-day basis? (You may notice my plan, linked above, is made with post-it notes. I acknowledge how highly subject to change this all is.)
But here I go, armed with goals and ideas, plans and lists, and a whole lot of fancy trousers that I won’t be wearing around the house (what a waste).
Three weeks, and then I jump.