My husband and I discussed it and it's official.
No, nothing ominous.
Or rather, nothing bad, because it sure was a big decision and not something either of us takes lightly.
We looked at my writing goals for the year (and in terms of an overall plan for the future), and my prospects for employment in the field I actually went to school for...and we did the math on buying a second car which would be a necessity for almost any job I were to take... and I am officially no longer looking for a job outside the house.
But that doesn't mean I'm unemployed. It means I work inside the house. I sit at my keyboard for 40 (or more) hours a week. Every week. It means I get up every day, I drink my coffee and I come to work, right here in my office. It means that I during my work day, I don't take an inordinate number of personal phone calls because my boss (me) will get irritated if I'm always on the phone. It means I don't spend more time on Facebook than is actually necessary to do my job--and yes, some FB time is actually necessary for networking and promotion. Farmville, however, is not a part of my job.
See, being a writer isn't just clacking out a good story. It's editing. It's re-editing. And then editing some more. Just one more pass. Okay, one more and then I might think it's almost enough to submit it. Which means I'll edit it one more time before sending it in. Where, assuming it's accepted, a professional editor will find all kinds of mistakes and send it back to me for revisions. But we're not done yet. I'll revise and then someone else will go looking for mistakes. It may get a third round of edits as well, if somebody thinks it's necessary.
Then I'll finally get last proof and go through double checking the formatting, and resist the urge to scrap the whole manuscript and beg for the chance to start over.
Then it's time for the fun stuff: cover art! Everybody loves cover art.
Except when I haven't got a clue what to put on the cover.
THEN it's time to promote, promote, promote! Chats, blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, showing up in person to places like conventions... just being around so people get to know who I am.
In addition, part of being a good writer is critiquing other people's work, either as part of a critique group, by beta reading for another author (because you want someone to beta read for you, right?), and by learning to read with a critical mind and give thoughtful reviews of published works on your blog. Oops... been falling short on that last part lately.
And oh yeah, there's another book waiting to be finished and I did promise my husband I was only going to work 50 hours this week, right? Maybe I can squeak in a little "overtime" if I promise him a movie date three weeks from Tuesday...
Because that's what you do when you have a job. And writing is a job (even if you haven't published that first book, yet)--it just so happens to be a job that I dearly love doing. :)