O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Changes and Secret Truths

The secret truth about writing books is that very few published writers are able to live off income from their books. I can’t remember the exact numbers, but I recall it being somewhere around 95% of people who have had a book published have to maintain a second job, or a third, to make ends meet. They teach. They write for magazines. They do speaking engagements. Or, like me, they start out working in the marketing/advertising industry and progress to a job in communications and design for a religious organization.

I would love to be one of those book-writers who can make a go of it based entirely on income from my books, but now that I’ve been writing books for six years and have several in print, it’s clear to me that — barring some sort of inexplicable The Shack-ish cultural explosion — that probably won’t be the case. At least not anytime soon. So I’ve always had a “real” job in addition to my writing hobby. Something that took up 40 hours/week alongside the 15+ hours.


But it’s always been my goal to make a living as a full-time writer, or at least as a full-time person who is self-employed in some way. I’ve been slowly building toward it for awhile now — it’s been the big bullet-point at the bottom of my list of career goals. I’ve been hoping to get there some day once a book hit big or whatever else. But you can’t wait around forever, you know? Sometimes you just have to jump and see where you land.

This weekend, I jumped.

It wasn’t exactly a huge jump. I simply transitioned from my former full-time job to become a full-time freelance writer and designer…but with my old employer as one of my major clients. So my actual work isn’t really changing much, but the geography (right now I’m at home) and the structure (right now I’m my own boss) are new. Hopefully, I’ll have more flexibility to continue pursuing more writing opportunities and more books and a select few new clients.


Is a stressed-out economy the best time to launch a new career as a freelancer? Um, no. In fact, it’s probably the worst time. But I’ve got a good base of work lined up to make ends meet, and I intend to watch it grow as the economy gets back into shape, too.

So I’m the new boss. I’m officially a full-time freelance hyphenate (writer-designer-marketing pro-painter-blogger). I’m not sitting around anymore waiting for things to happening. Goodbye, passive dreamer Jason. Hello, wildly optimistic new kid.

Now, get to work.

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posted March 2, 2009 at 9:26 am

I’ve determined “wild optimism” will get you a long way…God loves it! Good luck with the new boss!

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posted March 2, 2009 at 9:28 am

I’ve heard your new boss is a major tool. But on the bright side, he’s a sucker for donuts and foot rubs.

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Bryan Allain

posted March 2, 2009 at 10:23 am

wow, big news!!!Here’s to hoping that “Oh me of little faith” becomes your shack. you do refer to God as a big black woman in it, right?

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Bill Archinal

posted March 2, 2009 at 10:39 am

Congratulations on making the leap. Blessings to you and your family.

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posted March 2, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I heard Rob Bell comment lately that he was going to title his next book “The Purpose Driven Shack of Jabez” – hey, it’s worth a try.Seriously though, Great move! Amazing things happen when we jump!

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posted March 3, 2009 at 11:59 am

Good luck with that Jason. I’m sure you’ll do great no matter what life throws your way. I’m the liberating freedom you’ll have will help you see, more clearly, those things God has for you!

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