It's time to take a look back at my 'sabbatical' as my friends keep calling it. In December 2022 I quit my job with nothing lined up. The plan was to take a year off, living on a very tight budget, and focus on personal projects such as finishing a novel. Also, I needed some time to get over burnout before I could even consider looking for a new job.
So how did it go? I would say it took me a good four months or so to really get my motivation back. I finished five new short stories and the first draft of a novel. Around about the sixth month mark, I started getting antsy about the way my savings were dwindling. I'd earmarked some of that money for DIY projects but couldn't bring myself to spend it in case I needed it to live off. I decided to start looking for part-time work. First, I finished off an editing course, then went looking for editing work. I did some volunteer work to gain experience, and then eventually landed a place with a ghostwriting agency near the end of 2024. I'm starting to get steady work and have picked up a few private clients (if anyone needs a copy editor, drop me a line!).
One thing that surprised me is that I've turned out to be something of a workaholic when I actually have work I enjoy. The great thing about freelancing is you can do it any time, but this can also be a drawback.
The novel is on track to be ready to start submitting by the end of February, at which point I'll start working on one of the dozens of ideas I have for other books. As for the DIY stuff, that's still on hold. Living on a budget that was below the poverty line for most people means I've got some deferred spending to catch up on, but all in all, 2023 went pretty well for me.