Leaving the Rat Race

Oct 8, 2018

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve always written my books and stories around, and often in spite of, my day job. I took the advice I was given at school… study, work hard and get a ‘proper’ job.

So I studied Computer Science at university and my career has exclusively been within the IT domain since – that’s 26 years of a quite traditional ‘career’ revolving around a 9-5 job Monday through Friday, though it was more like 7-7 with some weekends thrown in! I’ve worked out that unpaid overtime was probably something like an extra year or so over that period – so I’ve certainly ‘done my bit’.

This constricted the amount of time available to me for writing, and whilst I’ve managed to crank out quite a bit of work (6 full length novels and a few short stories) since I properly started back in 2011, time has always been the issue I couldn’t do a great deal about.

Any of you who work in corporate life will be very much aware of the soulless desks, office politics, downsizing/rightsizing/outsourcing, endless (and often pointless) meetings and paperwork, death-by-powerpoint, checkbox mentality and sheer stress involved. Add to that the increasingly heavy burden of compliance and regulation and the constant yearly mantra of “Do more with less!” (wouldn’t it be nice one year for top brass to say “You know what? This year how about we do less with more?” 😉 ). The higher in an organisation you go, the more all this compounds. Responsibility and accountability is a heavy burden.

I’m good at my job, and I have worked with some amazing people throughout my career. But it was sapping my strength, leaving me with less and less to offer to family, friends and fans. It’s not my passion – that lies elsewhere.

My passion, as you probably know, is writing. If I’m honest, it always has been – I was writing stories from childhood.

So it’s with the full support of my family, with great excitement, and a little trepidation, that today I’m announcing that I’m stepping out of the rat race. I’m working my notice at my current employer, and from January 2019 will be writing full-time.

There is clearly some risk involved in this, not least the finances – there’s still a mortgage and bills to pay. However, we’ve decided that life is simply too short not to chase your dreams. For a while now I’ve been asking myself “If not now, then when?”

My books clearly have a readership and I don’t think it’s too self-aggrandising to claim I have a fan-base out there waiting for my next book. Around me I have seen work colleagues, old friends and famous people in the media dropping dead at ages not far from (or in some cases younger than) mine. My life expectancy is around 80 years, give or take, so I mostly likely have 32 years to go. It’s impossible to predict what the future holds and I don’t want to put it off any longer – who knows how many years I actually have?

As the quote goes… nobody on their death-bed said “I wish I’d spent more time in the office!”

“If not now, then when?”

I will give this my all. Those of you who know me personally will be aware that I’m fairly tenacious. 😉 I’ll be blogging about the experience throughout – which may make for an interesting book in its own right at some point in the future.

What does this mean for you? Well, it mostly means more books and more often! I’ll maintain and improve my writing, the quality you’re used to; the characterisation, the dialogue and the description – everything that is a hallmark of a ‘Wagar’ book.

I’m currently working on the precise schedule, but I can confirm Shadeward 3 : Enervation will be next! Right now the rest of the Shadeward Saga and a complete set of Midnight novels (with Doomdark’s Revenge being the first) are in the process of being confirmed and planned.

It will also give me the chance to respond to any left field opportunities that come my way; tv, film, writing commissions, contributions to game narrative, lore, rather like the Elite Dangerous Kickstarter back in 2012. So if that’s of interest to you or your company, please get in touch. You can see my portfolio for details of what I’ve done before.

I believe that I can punch out 3, perhaps even 4 books a year now and I’ll be hitting the ground running on Jan 1st. My plans also include more audiobooks being provided as well – I have the equipment to do all of this. I’ll also have the time to promote myself and my books at conventions and events throughout the year. Make sure you sign up to my newsletter in order to be amongst the first to be informed of the latest happenings and releases!

Time has been the limiting factor – not anymore. I should be able to do more streaming as well, more than once a week.

I want to write books for you all to read. That’s my passion, that’s my ambition. That you’ve supported me this far has spurred me onto greater things. Now it’s up to me to rise to the challenge of going full time with all the risks and opportunities that affords.

That’s my news – hoping to have you all along for the ride. 2019 is going to be an interesting year!

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