Do … Quit Your Day Job is the distillation of the first two years of Christina York's retirement. A "warts-and-all" look at the transition from a life of 9-to-5, it examines the opportunities and pitfalls of a creative life, and a creative retirement.
At some point, every writer faces the question as to whether or not they should quit their day job. It's a tough decision to make—job security versus the freelance life. Christina F. York decided to blog about her transition from desk jockey to freelancer. A fascinating and inspiring read about something every writer needs to consider. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
"Chris York's advice on retirement and creativity is spot on the money. She picks great topics and explains them clearly. Her columns are well done, and she gives us lots to think about."– Dean Wesley Smith, NY Times and USA Today best-selling author
"The Oregon Coast is a Tsunami Zone. Tsunami also describes Christina York's life when she quit her job [retired]. She has weathered a number of life rolls with wisdom and humor, and shares both here."– Dave Raines, Writer
"Chris imparts wisdom with a kind, funny, and generous heart—reading her words is like sitting next to a beloved friend or sister, head on their shoulder."– Stephannie Tallent, Writer
"Even after decades in this business, when Chris York speaks I listen. She's been there and done that, and has the bruises to prove it. Her wisdom has saved me time, money, and—most of all—heartbreak. Save yourself pain and absorb her experience."– Michael Warren Lucas, author of 'git commit murder' and 'Immortal Clay.'
How Did We Get Here?
The impetus for this project was one of those moments of serendipity where all the pieces kind of fall together. It was the product of more than a year of planning combined with things you never expected.
Allow me to back up and explain how I got here.
I was born in a small town… No, that's too far back.
After my divorce… Huh-uh. Still not there.
I sold my first novel… Oh, for heaven's sake, Chris, hurry up!
All right, flash forward another 20-plus years.
I had been flirting with the idea of retirement for several years; actively looking for solutions to several stumbling blocks, including some complicated medical insurance issues. I'd made spreadsheets and run what-if scenarios until my brain threatened to explode.
I went to Las Vegas where I worked as hotel liaison and administrator for an intensive writers' workshop, a job I'd done for this particular conference for several years.
At the end of the conference as I was preparing to rush home and back to work I had a very clear realization: If I retired I wouldn't have to worry about how fast I got home.
I wouldn't be tied to someone else's schedule.
I went home with a very clear goal: Retire before the next workshop.
I gave myself the year, told my boss informally that I was working toward my goal, and began preparing my department for my departure. At the same time I began preparing myself for a major lifestyle change. Six months later I handed in my formal notice, giving the company six months to replace me and I turned my attention to my personal preparations.
Today I am at this year's version of that workshop, and I am retired.
It hasn't really hit me yet and probably won't until after I get home and don't have to get up and go to work. Right now I am doing something not that much different from what I have done in the past.
And thus the years of planning brought me to the point of retirement. While my timing may be different from yours, and I choose to call it retirement, you will choose your own path to being a full-time creative. I still believe what I have to share applies to anyone making that leap.