One year from today I will attend commencement at Vanderbilt University, where I’ve been teaching since 1984.
This will be the end of my day job. I’ll finally be able to turn my full attention to writing and writing-associated activities: learning about new book formats, meeting with other writers, puzzling out the world of publicity, traveling to visit schools and libraries to talk about my books and about writing in general, and especially, working with the Regional Advisors of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in my position as RA Coordinator.
Sounds great in theory, but I know I’ll feel a sense of loss. I’ve loved my job—well, usually. Sometimes I’ve just tolerated it, but I’ve never hated it. I have wonderful friends there, and I know that as I lose touch with their daily lives and with the joys and frustrations of university teaching, I’ll inevitably drift away from some of them. I’ll miss the daily contact with bright and interesting young people.
Plus there’s the little matter of the paycheck and benefits.
But I’ve been doing the same job for twenty-eight (twenty-eight!) years, and it’s time to move on.
This weekly blog will chronicle the last year of my day job. I’d love to hear from people—either as guest bloggers or commenters—who have done this, whether writers or not. What did you do to plan? What do you wish you had done differently? What was some great advice you got? How did you handle the loss of a paycheck? And I want to hear from people who are contemplating the same move. What are you worried about? Excited about? What do you want to learn about? How much pre-planning are you doing?
I look forward to sharing this journey with you!