We have all heard that phrase before, ‘follow your heart and the universe will provide’. It sounds fantastic. As if you could just drop the terrible office job or whatever job bores you to tears, start doing the thing you love to do, and everything will fall into place. The universe will provide ? Hmm.
As with all things in life nothing is simple when you have the rent/bills/mortgage to pay for. So it often requires great courage and great planning before you start to pack your bags and listen to what that blood-pumping vessel designed to keep you alive starts telling you to do..
I had been listening to my heart for a few years and it had been telling me that I hated the job I was doing and that deep down there was something else that I really loved to do and was really good at doing it. It told me that my passion was writing. I had been writing for a while but mostly terrible poetry for when I was feeling down or trying to understand this tipsy topsy world I was living in.
But recently I started to branch out and write some articles for a tech website. As my background was in I.T. it seemed a good place to start to test my writing skills. It wasn’t exactly a novel but it could be a way of earning a living through writing….After writing the articles I managed to get a gig writing articles for a Managed Service company. They in turn asked me to write a White Paper and a Sales Brochure. This filled me with great confidence even though it didn’t answer all my questions.
The job still bored me to tears and there is nothing worse than doing a job that you dislike. I continued to write and progressed onto short stories, even portions of a Novel, and my main interest, a memoir based on the spiritual retreats I had taken part in over the years. As I continued to write my confidence grew and I knew this is what I wanted to do, but I still had the problem of spending most of my waking day doing the nine-to-five job which got in the way of my writing.
At the age of 42 any leap you make into a new career is a very big leap indeed and that for me came in the form of being offered a place at University. For a man with no educational background this was a big step but at the same time, I thought I would be spending years chipping away at the writing in the evenings, whilst working during the day. I did some number -crunching. If I jump ship now and do this degree, in three years’ time I should have built up a substantial portfolio and will either have made it as a writer, or I would have a degree and have had one hell of an adventure. It’s always good to have adventures as a writer.
So I took the leap much to my girlfriend’s displeasure. I accepted the course, handed in my notice at work (huge relief), and packed my bags to move to another country to start my degree. How did it work out? Well despite the first two months of absolutely no money and threatening the student payment service with complete annihilation if they didn’t pay me my loan fees, it wasn’t too bad. The first room I rented looked like a morgue which depressed me but eventually, I found a nice room with a large bay window, which was great for my daydreaming, and overall it has been a miraculous turnaround.
It’s been two years since I started to pursue my passion and I would say I am halfway there and that my confidence and conviction are growing every day. I now know I will be a great writer, it’s just a matter of time. I have managed to find a small publisher for my first book which will be published next year and I will start to focus on, and work with two other Novels over the next two years.
It’s been a long tough slog and I am about halfway there, but if you are not enjoying the job you are doing and considering taking the leap. I recommend it and guarantee your life will change.