This month marks the fifteenth anniversary of my career as a full-time writer. I still remember how nervous I was when I started out. I wasn't sure if I'd have a roof over my head for long, though I was reasonably certain I'd be able to eat, given that the first regular gig I lined up was a restaurant-reviewing for Toronto Life magazine. A couple of years after I quit the day job, I came across a book about freelance writing called Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal. I realized that summed up my attitude towards the whole enterprise, and it still does.
Even after all this time, I still can't believe I'm lucky enough to have a job that allows me to explore the things I'm curious about (if you know me, you know that's a long, eclectic list). Even better, it's evolved to become a job where I get to play with my imaginary friends, since I now spend most of my time writing fiction.
That's not to say that freelancing doesn't have its frustrations. When I'm chasing down a deadbeat client — or when a client's check bounces —I feel envious towards people who don't have to scramble after cash they've already earned. But those days are few and far between.
The very best thing about writing is that it's introduced me to so many amazing people. The toughest adjustment for me, when I started writing full-time, was that I was at home, alone, with no coworkers to chat with or to bounce ideas off. When I'm writing, I'm a solitary creature, but the rest of the time, I'm a social animal. Ironically, writing full-time forced me to join organizations and go to conferences to meet my peers. That habit has served me well with crime writing. My social circle broadened in ways I never imagined, and I'm grateful for it.
This is my last post as a regular member of Criminal Minds. I'd like to thank my fantastic blogmates, past and present, for being such a fine, fun crew. I'll be back to guest-post from time to time, and if you want to find me online, that's not hard to do. You can drop by my website, my personal blog, my gluten-free blog, my newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest... it's kind of hard to hide from me online, truth be told. See you around!