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Opinion: Why Indie Authors Should Quit Their Day Jobs Like I Did

headshot of Sukhi Jutla

Sukhi Jutla, Authorpreneur

Authorpreneur Sukhi Jukla explains why she quit her day job and why she thinks more aspiring indie authors should do the same to pursue their dream job of being a writer

The sensible and conventional advice you will get from well-meaning friends and family is only to quit your day job when your writing income can replace the monthly paychecks.

Sounds sensible right?

Well yes, it does look sensible because it’s what most people do.

But it’s also what most people hide behind as a convenient excuse never to start writing or taking their writing career seriously.

Why I Made the Leap Now…

That’s why after years of listening to others and thinking my writing had to make an income before I made the leap, I jumped out of the day job to become a full-time author-entrepreneur.

‘How foolish’, many people would say  – but let me explain why ditching the day job to follow the dream job is the best decision I have ever made.

…And Why I’m Glad I Did It

For years I put off pursuing my dream job of being a writer. I listened to the naysayers who convinced me that writing was not a viable business or career.

But what you seek, you shall find.

So I stopped looking for excuses and reasons to why I couldn’t be a writer and looked for how to make it happen.

As a result of my new focus, I found a plethora of indie authors who were not just covering their rent with their writing income but making six- and seven-figure incomes.

And so I made a decision that if I wanted to pursue a career as an author-entrepreneur, I needed to jump in with both feet.

But before I jumped I made a plan.

Planning for Success

The biggest consideration was ensuring I was financially able to take this risk. Because the last thing you want to do is to worry about finances when you are pursuing your dreams.

You need to set yourself up for success from the get-go. Creativity needs

Creativity needs freedom to thrive and finance provides you with this luxury.

How I Did It

So to quit the job I hated and create a life and career I could love I took the following steps over a two-year period before I quit the day job:

  1. Start writing: I wrote the first draft of my book during 30-minute lunch break sessions while at the day job.
  1. Build confidence. I started a blog to gain the confidence to press ‘Publish’ in a low-risk environment. Blogging also got me speaking opportunities at Google Campus and The Bank of England 
  1. Invest in me. Going to workshops and meeting my mentors online and in real life 
  1. Downsize. Reduced my living expenses and sold stuff I no longer needed.
  1. Find a tribe. I surrounded myself with people I aspired to be like by joining ALLI and attended relevant events like the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival and The London Book Fair.
  1. Upskill. I learned new skills while at the day job (retraining as a life coach and starting a tech business) which created new income streams.

More importantly, as much I as I cleared out stuff physically in my life, I had to also clean out space emotionally and mentally for new things to enter my life.

Letting go of the things that no longer worked for me allowed me to bring in things that were better suited for me.

And as I continue to learn and do the work, my financial wealth from writing will also increase. It’s not a question of ‘’if’’ it will happen but ‘’when’’ it happens.

So that’s why I advocate quitting the day job to pursue your dream job, because sometimes you need to surrender yourself to the dream and believe in yourself totally.

But it doesn’t hurt also to make a plan!

OVER TO YOU Have you quit your day job to write full-time? Did it work for you? Got a cautionary tale against quitting the day job to share? We’d love to hear your response to Sukhi’s post!

#Authors - wish you could quit your #dayjob to write? @SukhiJutla shows how she did it Click To Tweet

MORE GREAT POSTS ON BEING AN AUTHORPRENEUR FROM ALLi’s BLOG ARCHIVE

How To Sell Your Books Without Selling Your Soul: Orna Ross

A Business Mindset Means A Rights Mindset: Orna Ross & Helen Sedwick

Ghostwriting as an Extra Income Stream for Indie Authors

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8 Responses to Opinion: Why Indie Authors Should Quit Their Day Jobs Like I Did

  1. Jonathan Brazee July 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

    I’ve earned six figures from my writing for each of the last three years. I didn’t make anywhere near that from my day job, yet I’ve been hesitant to take the leap. I’ve seen people make a splash as a writer and then fade from public view, and I know that can be me, too.

    However, matters were recently taken out of my hands. Instead of a businessman who writes on the side, I am now a writer who still does a little business.

    • Sukhi Jutla July 6, 2017 at 10:12 am #

      Thanks for sharing Jonathan. You are right that the writing must always come first (otherwise we have nothing to sell!). And once you lay down the foundation of the business, it will run itself as long as you keep producing content and commit to marketing your work to the right people. Good luck!!

  2. Nicole Evelina July 5, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

    Best of luck to you! I hope to someday do the same thing!

    • Sukhi Jutla July 6, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks for your comment Nicole. I am confident you will be able to do the same as you have the mindset and desire to be an Authorpreneur!

  3. Kassandra Lamb July 3, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

    I spent most of my life wishing I could be a full-time writer. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the work that I did as a therapist and college professor, but at the same time, I hated that writing ended up on the back burner of my life. Now, as a retiree, I am finally pursuing/living the dream.

    But if I had been born 30 years later… there are opportunities now due to self-publishing and those “other streams of income” for writers that weren’t available in my youth. I am so happy for the younger generation of writers and I hope as many of them as possible will take the leap and pursue the dream sooner instead of later.

    • Sukhi Jutla July 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

      It’s true Kassandra that there are many more opportunities today for writers as publishing and technology have changed so much. We no longer need approval from gate-keepers but can build, own and create out own path.

  4. Dan Holloway July 3, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Very interesting. Sukhi is fabulous.

    “Creativity needs freedom to thrive and finance provides you with this luxury.” – YES! And given how few people (certainly that I know) can afford the steps you mention, this is is why a universal basic income is so essential if we are to thrive creatively as a society

    • Sukhi Jutla July 5, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

      I definitely do recommend finances are taken care of before you take the leap as otherwise, the strain of not being able to cover the basics will zap away your energy and creativity…which is what we authors need when we write and manage a business!

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