Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Location, Location, Location

by Shannon Baker

The writer’s dream is to quit the day job and write full time. In my case, my day job quit me. Sometimes risks pay off big time and sometimes… In the windshield/bug battle, this time, I was the bug.

Last June, I moved from Flagstaff to Boulder to join a medical device start-up. It didn’t exactly start up so in April, I found myself out of a job. Although I spent the summer doing all the great things I love to do in Boulder, riding my bike, hiking, spending time on Boulder Creek and enjoying all the wonderful high altitude sun. I spent a lot of time looking for jobs, applying, interviewing and then washing and repeating.
                                                Backpack trip in the Rockies this summer.

It’s hard to admit this in public because it makes me sound like a big, fat loser. I’d like to think I’m smart enough and that I don’t smell bad or have an unusually annoying personality. (A little annoying is natural. It is.) The truth is, I’m a woman of a certain age. I read the statistics and have listened to enough NPR to know finding that senior level job is tough.

So, instead of being the person sitting in the FEMA trailer five years after the hurricane saying, “Why won’t someone help me?” Or the tearful woman on NPR saying she’s run through all her savings, I’m taking drastic measures.

We penciled it out, plotted our course and have gone past the point of no return. If we sell out in Boulder and move to Nebraska, the difference in our income versus expenses will make it possible for me to not go after a day job. The guy with the steady job retires in 623 days (less by the time this blog is published) and we’ve got a house in Tucson waiting. In the meantime, I’ve got a plan to supplement our income that involves a pen name and epubbing, and I have a new mystery series I’m super excited about.

                                                         Long, lonely road in Nebraska

I’m not sure I believe in the universe having a plan for individuals but here’s what happened: I listed our house on Monday. On Wednesday we signed a contract with the buyers for cash to close in 3 weeks. On Friday I drove to Nebraska to look at houses. On Saturday we signed a contract to close in two weeks.

 Now I’ve got to make a dash to Tucson to haul half our belongings down because the new place is very small. It’s really a micro house no one is allowed to visit. Load up a hot tub we have in Flagstaff because if we’re going to move to Nebraska we need some perks. And be back up here to hit all the closings and finish the move.

When this post hits, all of these things should be done and we’ll be in the British Virgin Islands on a 47 foot catamaran. It’s a trip we’ve planned for months and we leave the day after we sign off on the Boulder house.

Come November 1 I’ll be a stay at home writer. I have to leave my favorite place on earth to do it but a little sacrifice is good for the character. 

And… Full Time Writer!


Kathleen Ernst said...

Best wishes on the new chapter!

Brenda Buchanan said...

Good for you, Shannon. Congratulations!

Deborah Sharp said...

Wow, Shannon ... talk about life changes! You've lived through -- are living through -- a lot of them. Sounds, though, like you have a plan and a great attitude. Enjoy the time off and good luck in your new home.

Deborah Sharp said...
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