I’m at a bit of a crossroads. On one hand, I’ve just finished what I believe to be a well-written novel that I hope to sell.
On the other hand, I have a day job in a small company which is rife with repetitive issues, infighting and a myopic unwillingness to change. Having worked for other small companies, ones that stayed small and consistent and ones that turned into places employing high hundreds of individuals, I know it’s time to move on.
I know this business is not going to work out. There’s a lot of bad behaviour reinforced by the fact that the primary group (the non-technical one) is mostly made up of the owner’s relatives and best friends, who by and large are taking advantage of that fact to collect an easy paycheque with minimal work. Not a great start for a business that wants to grow, and since the owners have no interest in correcting that situation due to fear of confrontation or damage to the relationships, the best bet here is a couple of years before it shuts down or gets sold. If it’s sold, I’d suspect it won’t be to a new owner who wants to run it, but probably my old company (the big one), who can easily absorb its customers without the individuals working here.
I would like to work as an author/creator and not have to worry about this hamster wheel anymore. I prefer small businesses to large, because I have no patience for politics or protected incompetence. I’ve little interest in sparring with egos and entitlement. Sadly, this particular small business has all of that behaviour (and believe me, it’s rampant on the tech side as well), but does not contain the financial incentives or promotion opportunities of the larger business that nearly drove me into driving into oncoming traffic.
My problem is this: if I switch jobs or go back to the big company, it will consume my life. The time and energy, while admitting the latter is still an issue, would dwindle and leave me with very little opportunity to create.
I could stay and push hard at the writing thing while trying to ignore all the problems in my current space. Of course, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to get published before this place closes. Even if I don’t, most writers will tell you it’s not a lucrative business, save for a very few. I can’t take the financial hit so even if I show moderate success, I’d likely have to keep at least a part time job.
Obviously, the answer is go after the writing. It’s the dream. If I don’t, I’ll never know what could have been.
I’d just prefer not to lose everything in the attempt, if I can avoid it. Of course, the ideal would be a reasonable job at reasonable pay that left me with time to write and minimal friction from the business in terms of stability or interpersonal wildness.
But who gets that?