WRITING, PUBLISHING

Starting a Sabbatical

01/03/2018

I’ve dreamed about it many times. I know others have too. The premise is tempting, but is taking a sabbatical that straight-forward? I’m about to find out…

The idea is a simple one. Quit work and take an extended break to focus on personal projects, or simply have some time out. Firstly, I’m fortunate I’m even able to consider taking a sabbatical, let alone starting one. Not everyone has the luxury or circumstances to allow it.

Why are sabbticals and hammocks synoymous?

My long-term plan after starting my degree back in 2011 was to become a writer. After graduating in 2015, I planned to work for 6 or 7 months, build up some savings, then take the plunge. The six or seven months ended up being around eighteen months. Around February 2017, a series of projects were due to finish, so I bit the bullet and got ready to take some time out. Then a work opportunity too good to turn down presented itself. I was able to negotiate working 3 days a week, allowing 2 days to be spent writing – this worked out great until the project started demanding more of my time and my writing began building momentum. I realised I couldn’t do both things well.

After speaking with a really good friend (who also happens to be a qualified and excellent life coach), I re-evaluated what was important to me. I bit the bullet for the second time, put the arrangements in place and today, March 1st 2018 is the first day of my six-month sabbatical. So now what?

I have been organised, although not as organised as I would like due to throwing myself into work for the last 3 months to ensure everything is professionally handed over and wrapped up. I have a daily and weekly plan, I know what projects I intend to start and finish and when. I am planning to get out on the golf course and practice my photography.

“I bit the bullet for the second time, put the arrangements in place and today, March 1st 2018 is the first day of my six-month sabbatical.”

However, as I sit here on my first day, watching the snow fall and wondering how many layers I need to wear to keep warm, I can’t help feeling it’s all quite overwhelming. People have asked me if I’m nervous or excited. The answer is both. I expect the first few weeks will feel like a holiday. The truth right now is I look at my list of things to do and I’m not sure where to start. Admittedly, I’m still switching off from work mode – this will take a few days/weeks to get out of my system and I’ve so much admin to do that I’ll be busy for the next few days. I’ve even got to make sure my websites are updated and I’m writing regular blog posts (check).

Before I start writing, I should seriously consider switching this on…

Indeed, many people expect me to be lying in a hammock, drinking mojitos. Maybe when it’s warmer… For now, I have a plan. Social media work is underway, websites are (quite literally) in the process of being updated, expenses and admin next. Then to begin finalising my comic, ‘Undetermined‘, which I’m working on with the incredibly gifted Christopher Holmes – there are kickstarters to be planned, merchandise to be created, printers to speak to. 

Then it’s time to finish ‘The Occupant’ (working title), my Kafka-esque interpretation of the world, before working on my main project, a young adult fantasy novel. That’s in between more short-stories, advertising my Cyber Security eBook and running more Neighbourhood Watch sessions, seeing the excitement of my first short-story being published, and getting that handicap down.

Is it all feeling a bit too much at the moment? Yes. Do I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow, or in a few weeks? I think so. Was starting a sabbatical the right thing to do? Absolutely. As I said, I’m fortunate to have this opportunity, and I’m going to grab it with both hands.

10 Comments

  1. Chris Welsh

    You deserve to succeed Andy. Anyone who is willing to sacrifice a regular income to follow their dream is to be admired, even if as you say, you are fortunate enough to be able to take such a step. I will follow your progress with great interest and anticipation. Sincerely hope the fates are kind to you in your venture.

    Reply
  2. Mrs Perry

    Well done

    Reply
  3. Mike Hoyle

    Go for it mate and enjoy every second !

    Reply
  4. Victoria

    Sounds very exciting and ver very busy I think you’ll need more than 6 months off! Hope you have a fab planner as someone once told me “you can’t tackle everything at once”!

    Reply
  5. Caroline

    Wow! I never expected you would be someone to quit your job to become a writer. Very exciting and brave! Good luck. I hope it takes you where you want to go.

    Reply
  6. carl morris

    wishing you all the luck in the world Andy you’re a brave guy as Chris welsh said.

    ill pop on from tit to time and see whats going on.

    Reply
  7. Neil Travers

    I’m sure you don’t need it but good luck on your new venture. The words will flow when your in the zone.

    Reply
  8. Debbie Travers

    Good luck Andy I am sure you will succeed in this next step in your career…..you are a man of many talents and these must not be wasted….well done and like you said….onward and upward

    Reply
  9. Rani Samra

    Andy I always knew you had this and a lot more in you! I think your an amazingly talented person and I am excited to support your exciting work!

    Reply
    • Andrew Perry

      Thanks Rani! Everyone’s been so nice – it’s really humbling… Andy

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This