At the age of 12, I knew I wanted to be a full-time author. The dream lasted me through my schooling years and into my twenties. Not a day passed when I would not think of that goal. But now, eighteen years on, it’s time for a reality check. And a recalibration.
I have written 12 novels, 6 of which have been published, and 24 short stories. I aim to write at least 2, possibly 3, more shorts and publish a novel-length short story collection by year’s end. By any measure it is a respectable output.
But at present I’m nowhere near my goal of becoming a full-time writer.
It’s not a question of skill. I am better than 90% of all writers whose works I have encountered. The 18 years I spent writing have paid off — but only in terms of craft, and I know I still have a long way to go. To achieve my goals, I must focus on the business side of writing. Marketing, branding, promotions, sales, all the non-writing tasks the contemporary writer must do to go pro.
it will take time to learn those skills, and money to pay for necessary services. But I don’t have time or money. Bills are piling up faster than my current income can catch up. Life continues to unfold, and it won’t wait for my writing career to take off. I do not expect support from the Singapore writing community, or any mainstream writing community for that matter, given my preference for writing entertaining stories instead of High Lit fic. And there is the small matter of being stuck in a soul-numbing dead-end day job.
Like it or not, the dream of going full-time has to wait. I need to realign my goals with reality, to address these practical concerns instead of chasing a childhood heat haze.
My new goal is simple: financial freedom.
To me, financial freedom means having the ability to support my lifestyle and cover unexpected costs without having to work again — unless I choose to. It means freeing myself from mind-meltingly toxic, boring and stupid ‘jobs’, and being able to decide what work and engagements to commit myself to. It means being able to support my loved ones and myself without ever having to worry about bills and surprise expenses.
It means the freedom to choose to live my life on my terms.
My wife and I are committed to this goal. We have calculated our expenses and set targets for ourselves. We have and are still learning from coaches and peers, people who have achieved financial freedom and are passing on the lessons they have learned. We have laid down our pathways to success, and are exploring ways and means to explosively grow our real income.
Failure is not an option. Between housing costs, medical bills, day-to-day expenses and other big-ticket items, we are feeling the pressure. If we cannot achieve financial freedom, we will spend the rest of our days lost in the rat race, forever struggling to make ends meet, precariously balanced on the knife’s edge, unable to address emergencies and problems. It is not a life for us. Or for anyone.
Success is the only acceptable outcome.
To this end, we are exploring many options. Cryptocurrency and stock investments, affiliate marketing, and more. We have established a savings plan and a budget for creating financial freedom. Time, energy and money that could otherwise have gone to writing must now go to generating more wealth.
Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. Public housing in a high-rise is sold at prices that exceed private landed property in the West. A car costs as much as a home in America, and that’s not counting fees and taxes. The price of food and utilities have been steadily climbing higher, and now the government intends to raise the Goods and Service Tax from 7 percent to 9 percent. Healthcare is so expensive that an oft-repeated saying is that you can die in Singapore, but you can’t afford to get sick.
Life will only get more expensive from here.
I can’t keep chasing a distant dream when I have so many problems in the here and now. To create the life I want, I must achieve financial freedom. I must be so successful and wealthy that bills and expenses are nothing more than trivial inconveniences, that my family will be able to enjoy the best life possible, and that I can help as many people as I can through charity and philanthropic endeavours.
I must achieve financial freedom. Quickly.
It’s going to require many changes. My work schedule, how I approach writing and blogging, health and fitness, nutrition, and most of all, mindset. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. A massive change in lifestyle requires massive action — and over the coming days and weeks and months, I must bend my life to action.
Success is the only acceptable outcome.
And when I succeed… there’s nothing stopping me from transitioning to making a full-time income from writing.
(Image from Wikimedia commons, public domain, Allegory of Fortune by Salvator Rosa)
The first step to financial freedom is figuring out where to go and learning the right mindset and techniques to get there. I highly recommend reading Secrets of the Millionnaire Mind as a great first step. Please note that this is an Amazon affiliate link; if you purchase a copy from this link, as an Amazon affiliate I’ll earn a small percentage too.
If you want to stay in touch with me, and to stay up to date with my other writing news and promotions, sign up for my mailing list here!