Today it is my distinct honor to present the Sassy Ginger, aka Mandy, aka Anyrandomword. (Trust me, that will make sense later.) She’s a redhead with a wicked sense of humor and her very own column about the horrors of modern relationships. I never fail to laugh and/or think in acronyms when I read her posts, like the one about the dude who signs all his texts “Batman” (WTF) or the one where she recounts her night via pictorial (LOL). In fact, I like her so much that I’ve asked her to be the LONE blog-sitter while I’m in Ireland this week. So y’all be good for her, okay? And be sure to comment so she doesn’t think I’m a friend-less loser. Thanks.

Seriously, I’m super stoked to have Mandy guest blogging for me. Thanks a bunch, girl!

gingerHey, kids! GingerMandy here. I’m going to do my best at invading Kristan’s space in the most gracious way possible. It’s nice here, if you guys were wondering. She keeps her place very tidy. Mine’s sort of a mess… Hopefully my crazy readers and I don’t turn this place into a dive before she gets home from IRELAND. Lucky girl!

Anyjealous, I always get super excited when people ask me to guest blog, then I lock up. Actually it’s not that bad. I’ll just picture you guys naked to take the edge off.

The thing Kristan and I have most in common is that writing is our passion. If you read her blog you obviously know she rocks at it. [Kristan’s note: Mandy does too!] Well, I recently made the decision that I am going to quit the day job that’s sucking my life dry in order to write full time. I’ve got a few sites I write for, a few companies that hire me to work on projects, and a few independent projects of my own, and I know that if I really work at it I can stay busy, make enough money, and do what I truly want to do. Plus, if my dedication stays intact and things go as planned, there is nowhere for me to go but up. Up, up, and way. Kind of like Balloon Boy, except I’ll be in the balloon… and in control of it. I hope. And hopefully I won’t be a big hoax, either.

Since Kristan is a writer, I’m assuming quite a few of you guys are as well. So I’m going to go ahead and name some of the thoughts I’ve had about this plunge I’m going to take, and hopefully hear some of your thoughts on them.

1) I write for a few websites. Some that I find excellent at their niche and others I find to be total crap but stick with them to pay the bills. That being said, am I really doing something worth a damn? Or am I cluttering the internet with more mindless and diluted information? I’m definitely not an expert in every topic I’ve written about. In fact, a couple times I simply Googled the information to write an article. Am I insulting people who are actual experts? I guess it isn’t a huge deal that I’m not a hair extension or skin care expert, but I know I’d rather get a how-to from a professional stylist than… me.

2) What if the total crap websites go under and that causes me to lose tons of jobs and money? Looks like I’ll be becoming a barista for awhile!

3) I am going to sharpen one VERY important tool: aggression. I am good at getting where I need to be and figuring out what to do, but I’ve never been good at figuring out exactly how to go in the direction that completely outshines all of my competition and shoves the rest of the thwarting, hungry writers out of the way. (No offense, it’s strictly business!) Or taking a risk and pitching my work, asking someone to look it over and :gasp: publish it! I’ve done it, but it is very intimidating. Another sad example of this: the other day I was on a flight to Orlando, and the 7-ish year old girl next to me kept staring at me and smiling. She had paper and crayons with her, and I wanted to ask if she wanted to play hangman, but I didn’t because if she said no I’d be really disappointed. SHE’S 7! And I was scared to ask! I JUST WANTED TO PLAY HANGMAN!

4) What if I start realizing how much control I have over my life? On a normal day, before you know it I’m sleeping in until 10 a.m., lying around watching daytime TV, making unnecessary plans, and then realizing the day is over, I did nothing productive, and I spent half the afternoon snacking on Club crackers dipped in chocolate frosting. I am bad about this. Today, for example, I planned on organizing my closet and getting together all of my clothes for donation, but all I’ve done since I’ve been home is take a nap.

Truth be told, I think of all these things — as well as several other worries — every single day. However, I also think of how hard I’ve worked to get to this point and that it’s normal to freak out and wonder how it will all spiral. Really, I think the blogging community keeps me sane when I get to this mindset because it shows me that there are tons of other people out there with worries and wonders about the future. That’s what we’re all here for anyway, isn’t it? To keep our sanity? No? Just me? Alright. Maybe I should go look for mine because at this point I don’t know if there’s much left.

8 responses to “A big plunge (no, not the toilet kind)”

  1. Todd Newton Avatar

    LOL nice post

    Recently a writer friend of mine quit his job (after writing and promoting the hell out of two regional bestsellers in CO) but then had to get back into it after the “big break” didn’t come.

    Life is risky, but when you start playing with finances is when I start to tune out. I just don’t have the wherewithal to manage them, so if I tried to quit my job and freelance it I would no doubt stretch myself too thin to make as much money as I could as quickly as I could. As it is, I think I’ll stick with the day job, write on the side, and continue wondering if at some point in the future I’ll be able to “just write.”

    BTW, regarding the 7yo and HANGMAN, you should have tried to teach her MASH instead. Heh.
    .-= • Recent post by Todd Newton: My thoughts on The Recession =-.

  2. GingerMandy Avatar

    That’s my thing, too – I am not so great at handling my finances, but I’ve been dying to do this whether a big break comes or not for a long time. There’s no better time for me to give it a shot than right now since I don’t own a house or have kids or anything, so my goal is to step into it, see what happens, and understand that things may not work out and I might end up back in the corporate world before I know it. At least I’ll be able to say I tried and won’t keep wondering “what if” forever.

    I forgot about MASH. I’m going to keep that in mind, I miss that game!

  3. Jon Avatar

    Hey congrats on the big leap. You have to try to make it full-time, I mean if not now, when?

    .-= • Recent post by Jon: To Network or Not To Network =-.

  4. GingerMandy Avatar

    Thanks Jon! That’s what i figure… might as well give it a shot if I think I’m ready.
    .-= • Recent post by GingerMandy: Beep beep, who’s got the keys to the jeep? =-.

  5. Pseudo Avatar

    My big fantasy is to take a year off from teaching and just write. My big fear is I would wile away too many hours and not knock out a book like I think I would….
    .-= • Recent post by Pseudo: Halloweens Past =-.

  6. Aisha Avatar

    Wow that was a big leap, I hope it all works out for you. In this economy it’s easy to be scared and cling to your job as long as you can for a steady flow of money, so you’ve made a pretty bold decision.

    As far as #4 is concerned, uhh yeah that happens to all of us at some point doesn’t it? heh
    I guess you can set small goals for yourself. Allow yourself time slots of uninterrupted work periods and if you happen to go past that time slot because you’re “in the zone” and being really productive then great. That usually works for me.

    Good luck!

  7. Kristan Avatar

    As you well know, I think what you’re doing is awesome and brave and I applaud you. I’m so excited to live vicariously through your chutzpah!

    I hate that I (sometimes) have to choose between money/security and writing. Whatever happened to the patron system like from the Medici times?!

    That would be awesome!! I do understand the fear about wasting the time though… It’s so easy to do!

    Lol yeah I think #4 does happen all the time. But your suggestion (aim for certain times and then end up in the zone) usually works for me too! Go us!

  8. Todd Newton Avatar

    Hmm… I like this “patron” idea. We should all put up ads that we can be “commissioned” to write.