Tomorrow marks the end of an era for me. After working for over twenty years at the university and over nineteen years with my current supervisor, my job is ending due to lack of research funds. It’s difficult financial times for funding currently, and many labs are downsizing in extreme ways. From a lab that consisted of twelve to fourteen staff and students for many years, mine will now be reduced to simply two.
There’s two ways to look at this opportunity. One is negative ― I’m out of a job, which was never part of my long term financial plan. But the other is twofold and purely positive: 1) this is an opportunity to try something new within my field, and 2) while I’m looking for a new position, I’ll have the luxury of being able to write full time.
If I’m honest, it’s the second option that gives me the most pleasure. Family responsibilities dictate that I go back to the working world, at least for now while I’m early in my writing career, but, if money wasn’t an issue, what I’d really love to do is write full time. The thought of being able to buckle down and work exclusively on my WIP brings me great joy. Instead of completing the first draft in three or four months, I could likely have it completed in six weeks, maybe less. I’d also like to spend more time cultivating my craft ― reading more widely, reading more craft books, and simply having the time to let the creativity flow instead of shoehorning it into free minutes and forcing its appearance. I think the quality of my writing will improve given more time to simply breathe. I’d also like to take some time for me and will use this opportunity to be more active, something I’ve had to sacrifice for my writing time for too long.
I’ve worked the same job for twenty years, so the thought of doing something different, while a little scary, is also refreshing. What will the future hold? I’m not sure. But there’s something to be said for an interesting and varied journey.
Photo credit: hpaich