Full-time writer

It’s Ben’s dream to be a full-time writer. I have always been 100% confident that this would happen. I would’t let it not happen. The only thing that has changed is how long he has to wait. Really the dream has never been becoming a full-time writer one day.  It has always been to make it happen now. So it’s our mission to make it happen as soon as we possibly can. If it was the only dream between us, it might be simpler. If we could give up the dream of four kids, of a semi-rural lifestyle, of being in the south-west, of me pursuing an unconventional career while being a stay at home mom, we’d be able to buy a smaller house, with a smaller garden, in a cheaper, more urban location. We could already be there with Ben freed up to write full time. But we have many dreams between us and we care about each other’s dreams as much as our own. I want Ben to become a full time writer tomorrow. It is a lack of financial freedom that holds us back. But now we’re on the precipice of having real power to buy our freedom because of the sacrifices we have made these past three years. Yay!

Three years ago I saw no way for us to bring Ben’s dream closer than 14 years time. But at least the dream was in sight. At least we could guarantee, if we chose to, that it definitely WAS going to happen in 14 years time. It was up to us, no one could stop Ben becoming a full-time writer. At least the decision was in our hands. We thought. To Ben, 14 years sounded like a life sentence. There was no comfort in the distant promise. He couldn’t look forward to that time. It was no where near soon enough. So when we started to bash out the numbers and possibilities if we sold and cashed in on the money we had made in our ‘forever’ Jam Jar House, it was the realisation that Ben could never transition from part-time to full-time writer if we stayed. Ever. That’s the reason, the key to this move, to transporting the dream over the border (a few miles) to a different country (Wales)!

Going part-time in two years time instead of 10 years time sounded amazing. As soon as we no longer needed money for ‘things’ and the business we set up was functioning well and could be trusted to cover the monthly outgoings, Ben could quit work. Writing part-time sounded amazing, and Ben sounded happy to work part-time indefinitely, as there’d be no knowing how long the business would take to cover the mortgage and bills. He would after all be writing. He would be a writer. He would be living the dream two or three days a week. So we didn’t really bother to think hard about the reality of the transition from part-time to full-time writer in the new house. It would be better than here and that was all that mattered. Until a couple of nights ago, when we started asking why aren’t we moving to the Isle of Wight? Or Devon or Cornwall? Why aren’t we moving to France? Italy? Is there a way we can afford to stay in the Cotswolds? Any way at all? It’s always when we crunch the numbers, in fact, crunch the bills money needed that we think why the hell didn’t we realise before that we needed a better plan for our long-term future. We need to go MORTGAGE FREE duh!

Part of the overall dream, the Jam Jar life is to be insulated from external factors so we feel free and can relax. If Ben being a full-time writer means our new alternative businesses need to cover the equivalent of his salary or even half of it, that’s alot of pressure, and I really don’t want Ben to have to go back to work if the business were to struggle. So having settled on a new strategy to get what we want, we are now looking at Ben going part-time the instant we have built the business, and becoming a full-time writer as soon as the business is established. Potentially 4 and a half years from now.

~Jen

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