Last Tuesday, on February 22, 2022 (TWOS DAY 😉 ) I celebrated my 5th anniversary as a published indie author.
As I’ve reminisced over my past five years as an indie author, I’ve realized God’s allowed me to smash several of my writing/publishing goals, including:
- Publishing four books
- Writing five books (I wrote Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl when I was a teen, so it doesn’t count in this timeframe)
- Writing my first trilogy
- Having a book signing
- Finishing two manuscripts in the same year
But, what are my goals for the next five years? This is something that has weighed heavily on my mind this past week, and after much thought and personal reflection, I felt I should share it with y’all.
Hang on tight. This is about to get real and vulnerable, my friend.
Goal 1) Publish (at least) Five Books Before My Thirtieth Birthday
During The Crush‘s release month back in October 2020, I was interviewed by my local newspaper and was asked what my future goals for writing and publishing were. Somewhat on the fly, I realized I really wanted to publish five books before my 30th birthday, which is now less than two years away.
If you’ve been following Authoring Arrowheads for a while, you probably know that I published my fourth book, Writing by Faith: Following God’s Calling to be a Christian Author, last Tuesday. Lord willing, I am also aiming to publish book 2 in The Ballad of Emery Brooks trilogy, The Fall, in early October 2022 if I can finish the edits and preparations by then. So, long story short, Goal 1 may end up being smashed this year. ❤
Goal 2) Finish Writing and Publish All my Backlist WIPs Before my 10th Publishing Anniversary
If you’ve seen my WIPs page, you know that I’ve got a ton of unfinished WIPs and plot bunny ideas in my mind’s creative queue. I would really love to have both written and published all of those titles before my 10th publishing anniversary, but I have no earthly idea if that is an attainable goal at the moment. The funny thing is, I’m finally putting pen to paper for the first time on one of those WIPs (On the Flip Side) since 2014 this month. ❤
Nevertheless, I just got married back in October 2021, and if/when God blesses Josh and I with children in the next few years, I’m sure my writing and publishing timelines will become much longer. Especially if Goal 3 doesn’t pan out.
Goal 3) My Biggest Goal: Becoming a Full-Time Author
A Little Backstory
I’ve mentioned this on Authoring Arrowheads many, many times before, but my biggest goal for my author career/ministry has always been to one day, Lord willing, become a full-time author.
I know, I reiterated in my Writing by Faith series (which is now compiled into a free ebook) that the love of money is the root of all evil, but that’s not my main reason behind this goal. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever explained the depths of my desire behind this goal, so here’s where the vulnerability warning from this post’s introduction comes in.
Though I know indie authors have the potential to make six figures from writing and publishing books, I honestly would never care if I reached that point. What I would love to happen, and have prayed for over the past five years, is to make a steady stream of income that could allow me to quit the full-time job I currently have.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never talked about this before, but I started my current job as an IT Support Technician two months after I published Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl five years ago. I actually prayed to get this specific job as I finished up my senior year of college, because the location is less than 30 minutes from where I live, and it pays well. However, even though I majored in IT in college, I’ve come to find that this field is not a good fit for me at all.
While I’m not a help desk/on the phone sort of IT Support Technician, I’m the sole technician for a company of around 50 employees. That means, if 50 people are having computer or email issues at once, I’m the one who has to fix it. If any other kind of electronic devices go down, such as our warehouse devices, or the postage machine, I have to fix those too, even though I’ve never had any formal training on those. My main duty is to fix broken technology by the seat of my pants, and that, my friends, is beyond stressful, because people get extremely annoyed and agitated when things aren’t working right, and no matter how much I’m trying to fix things, bad feelings are always taken out on the IT department. The constant fear of a bad situation popping up out of the blue (because I very rarely get a warning before something terrible happens) for 5 years has been extremely hard on my mental health, especially while working toward building an author career on the side.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay at what I do. I’m able to fix most things within a decent time frame. But, I’m not passionate about it. I don’t want to look for another job similar to what I do now, because I don’t particularly like what I’m doing now. Since my degree is in IT, it will be difficult for me to find a well paying job in another field unless I go back to school, which I’m not interested in. Never mind the fact that being an author is the only other career option I am interested in.
The flip side is that I feel selfish for feeling this way. God has blessed me with a job that pays well and has decent hours and benefits, especially with the way the economy has been over the past several months. But still, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to life than an office job where I’m not using the gift God gave me, especially one that makes me this stressed and, at times, depressed.
Praying for The Dream to Become a Reality
So, those past several paragraphs were down in the dumps, but this is the part where I’m letting my dreams run wild. The part where I’m letting my hopes and dreams for the future shine through, and pray that God will allow this to happen in His time and if He sees fit.
I don’t want to get into specific financial figures with this, because it’s no one’s business how much money someone else makes, but I would honestly be content if I could make 10k less than what I make now if it meant I could be a full-time author. This means my husband would still have to work a full-time job (which he currently does), but we’ve talked about it, and he says he would be fine with that if it meant I would be happier.
As recent newlyweds, my husband and I are not expecting a baby right now, but we hope to have children within the next few years. One of the biggest reasons why I desperately want to become a full-time author is that it would also allow me to be a stay-at-home mom one day, something my own Momma was always able to be for me growing up. I realize both parents working outside the home is normal in this day and age… but I don’t want that reality for my future kids if I can help it, unless it ends up being God’s plan for our family.
Expanding on my desire to be a stay-at-home-mom someday, I have also discussed homeschooling our future kids with my husband. While he’s not completely sold on the idea yet (I went to public school, while he went to a private school in our town and feels he missed out on sports there), he isn’t impressed with our local public school options either, so it still could be a possibility. If I was able to become a full-time author, that would also allow me a flexible schedule to homeschool our kids.
Like I said before, I don’t care if I ever make six figures writing books, and if it’s not in God’s will for me to ever be a full-time author, then I will have to learn to be okay with that. But, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to reach this goal since it’s rooted in a desire to better be able to serve God both through writing books and through raising children up in a God-fearing home.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
If you’re an author, how far along are you into your author career? What goals are you chasing on your journey?
If you’re a reader, what topics would you like to see tackled in fiction from a Christian standpoint, especially ones that are most relevant to the young adult genre?
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.