Becoming Professional

27 November 2007 · 3 comments

“You know how you feel overwhelmed some days?” Kris asked last night.

“What do you mean?” I said, because the question was a sort of non-sequitur.

“You know,” she said. “You often complain that you’re getting too much e-mail and that there’s too much you have to do for the blog. You tell me that you’re overwhlemed.”

“Oh. That. Yeah, I know what you mean.”

“Well,” she said, “today I feel overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed for you. I can’t believe how much stuff you got today. How can you possibly reply to it all?”

“I can’t,” I said. “In fact, I’m afraid that I didn’t even notice today. I’ve been ignoring e-mail all day. I’m near e-mail bankruptcy again, anyhow. My inbox has grown from 30 messages to 300, and I don’t have time to answer them.”

“Yeah,” Kris said. “It’s overwhelming.”

It is overwhelming, but mostly I love it. I love it so much, in fact, that I’m going to make it my full-time job. As I recently shared at Get Rich Slowly, beginning in January, I’m going to reduce my hours at Custom Box Service. I’ll be cutting back one day at the start of every quarter so that by the start of 2009, I’ll be writing from home full-time.

I’m actually making more from blogging now than I am from the box factory, so there’s no worries about where I’m going to get the money to do this. I do have an enormous tax liability that I need to prepare for, and then I need to save a significant “rainy day fund”, but aside from those two things, I’m ready to make this move.

At first, I’ll be focused on the blogging, but I hope to shift to other sources of income, too. For example, I believe I’m finally ready to write a book. I’ve been getting one or two e-mails every month from publishers interested in discussing a deal with me. That’s flattering, no doubt, but I’ve talked with enough writers to know that there’s very little money in going that route. I have three goals in writing about personal finance. They are, in order of importance:

  • To help other people take control of their financial lives.
  • To earn money for myself.
  • To achieve some sort of fame.

That last goal isn’t very important to me, and it seems to be the only advantage a big-name publishing house offers. Yes, if my book were to be successful, I could make a lot of money. But the odds are stacked against me, even if the book is good. (I read a lot of personal finance books. Some of the best books are those that nobody has ever heard of.) As a result, I’m likely to do some sort of self-publishing.

Anyhow, I’d also like to pursue other sources of income from writing: magazine articles, short fiction, etc. Get Rich Slowly is keen, but I’d like to diversify.

Most of you are already aware that I’ve been meaning to move away from the box factory. I just thought I’d make it official.

1 SusanO November 27, 2007 at 10:03

JD, how will you be handling health insurance?

2 Will November 27, 2007 at 16:13

I find the lack of future chicken postings to be tragic, borderline criminal in fact. If you aren’t at custom box, how will we get our fill of skunk, chicken and other such assorted wildlife ta(ils)les?

3 AdamD November 27, 2007 at 18:54

I’m one of the folks that didn’t know, but I’m not surprised. Things have been moving in that direction for some time. Congrats!

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