On the 8th of August, 2015, I said goodbye to my 13 year career as a barista. I left my job to be a writer.
I wasn’t ready. I had no real plan; but I quit my job anyway.
I always thought i would eventually — that was the appeal of working in coffee; the money was good for what (on the surface) wasn’t a very demanding job. I was running around all day making lattès and putting scones on plates and smiling wether or not I felt like it, all so I could go home and be able to write crazy inspired fiction over a moody glass of bourbon.
So I was a barista. I went to training to be a barista, and I got good. Really good.
And I kept promising myself that eventually (the dreaded eventually), I would start writing, make money from writing, and transition from a professional coffee snob to professional writer when it made sense… Whenever that might be. I wrote a novel a month for a year, I can do anything I really want to, right?
And as we all know, there are so many reasons not to write – so many legitimate things that keep us busy. I wasn’t blocked, I was busy: life was hard and hectic, the job was demanding. I needed to move, I needed to relax, I needed to save money, I needed to survive.
All the while, my signed copy of Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art stared at me balefully from it’s dusty shelf.
I wish this was an epiphany story, that I suddenly saw or heard something that turned me around, but it isn’t. One day, I just saw it clearly: I am massively qualified to be everything I don’t want to be.
I realized that I was living a life that would never turn me into a writer.
So I retired from coffee. My friends got me a hotel and concert tickets and we partied like rock stars over one of the best cakes in the universe.
I’ve already found a regular job freelancing, and I’m making plans. Plans that qualify me to make my living from words instead of coffee beans.
I’m not waiting for my Real Life to just happen anymore. I’m going after it with a club.