Don’t complicate it.
In 2015, I came to the realization that teaching no longer satisfied me.
That wasn’t fair to me. It wasn’t fair to the students I taught.
Before taking the plunge to walk away, I took a sabbatical researching Students with Interrupted Formal Education and wrote a scholarly paper for my school district. What I discovered along the way was that writing was all I wanted to do.
Still, I couldn’t resign because I owed my district the semester I took for the sabbatical. I decided to give them the full year to make sure giving up a 17-year career was the best decision.
As I look back on that time, I realize the decision-making process broke down into 4 simple steps:
1. Make the decision
2. Find your niche
3. Know your worth in that niche
4. Be it
Make the decision
Before the school year ended in 2016, I decided to write full-time. I second-guessed that decision more than once because I didn’t have a step-by-step plan for how I wanted to do it. Like so many times in my life, I made a decision and went with it. I said this to myself then, and I say it to myself now:
This is all you want to do, so do it.
Next came the angst of how do I start over? I was a high school teacher. Where would I even begin as a writer? I had to remind myself that I published two books already. I started. Then came the preparation and pondering.
For me, that gets to be a problem. I think, and I think. But I don’t take the necessary actions. When you’re not 22-years-old and fresh out of college, what are those actions? That’s what I had to figure out.