I have taken a leave of absence from the workplace this spring to concentrate on my writing. This was long planned. I really like my colleagues and have great respect for the people I’ve worked with, likewise for the ethos of the company. But I knew in advance that the novel would start to require my time again and this time I wanted to be energised and ready to give it proper attention.
When I was completing the final draft to send to my agent, I was doing a rewrite and working full-time during a very busy period. I was exhausted. My health was not the best – I was wiped out, severely overweight and unable to engage with the novel the way I wanted. I was so tired I got it into my head that everyone would get fed up of waiting and move on. When I eventually spoke to my employers and explained I needed more time to complete the novel, they were very supportive and kind.
I’m aware that I am lucky. Firstly, I was old and ugly and long in the tooth enough to know what I wanted and secondly, that I had an agent and publisher who were interested in my work. And thirdly, colleagues who were interested and rooting for me. And fourthly, the time to financially prepare for this.
Today, my decision was vindicated. I’m just getting stuck into the development/storyline edits for my novel White Feathers and they really are going to demand all my concentration – and this process has a deadline. I know there are superwomen and men out there who have jobs/families and write a novel and pull it all off. I’m not one of those people. I’m not Superwoman and I can’t do both. And if you aren’t one of those people, consider this post a voucher you can show your doubting mind.
I hope to return to the non-writing workplace sometime mid March, but that date is not set in stone. For now, I have a job already, and I’m going to get on with it. And really enjoy it 🙂