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Should you quit your job to write full-time?

Published 20 days ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader,

I quit two different jobs to write full-time.

In my mid-twenties, I worked as a badly paid local newsletter journalist. I hated my power-hungry boss and dreary afternoons covering local council meetings.

So, one Tuesday morning, I marched into my boss’s office and said, “I quit!”

I was going to become a freelance writer and write fiction.

Saying “I quit!” to write full-time?

My dream turned into a stressful nightmare.

I didn’t consider if I could actually write fiction, much less how I would find paying writing clients.

So, I ended up on social welfare for a few months. Eventually, I found work as a care worker and went back to college.

I spent my 30s working as a copywriter for a B2B company. The job paid me six figures a year to write about financial software and services.

And I worked from home.

I liked the work, even if the products were boring. My colleagues were smart, and I honed my digital marketing chops.

The 50 and 60-hour work weeks were tough, though.

My 40th birthday loomed like a guillotine.

A decade is a long time to spend writing about financial software.

I wanted to quit… but I was terrified of ending up on social welfare again.

So, I asked for a career break.

A type of insurance policy, if you will.

The company said yes.

I spent my 12-month career break writing my book I Can’t Believe I’m a Dad!

When not writing my book, I worked on my writing business. I built my portfolio of websites up to over a million page views per month via SEO.

With that much traffic, my sites earned a sizeable amount from ads and affiliate promotions. I put enough money aside to cover my expenses for three years.

At the end of my career break, I handed in my notice.

Saying “I quit!” to write full-time?

A dream fulfilled.

These days, I write newsletters, YouTube scripts, and blog posts and copy for three hours every morning.

I spend the afternoons helping members of my Pro Writers Only community and working with clients.

Writing full-time isn’t always easy.

I sometimes miss the camaraderie of working with a group of people toward one common goal… even if it’s not an exciting one.

I’d find going back to an office impossible, though.

Look…

The merits of quitting a day job to write depend on your life circumstances.

Quitting was a terrible choice when I was in my 20s, with a baby, a mortgage, and no plans.

In Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon writes,

"A day job gives you money, a connection to the world, and a routine. Freedom from financial stress also means freedom in your art. As photographer Bill Cunningham says, “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do.”

Quitting was a better choice in my 30s with a growing writing business and savings.

Should you quit your job to write full-time?

It’s easier than ever to succeed as a writer online today. But only you can answer that question.

Write on,

Bryan Collins

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My name is Bryan Collins. I'm a content strategist, copywriter and USA-Today best-selling author.

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