I had an epiphany last Friday.

Well, it sort of all started the Tuesday before that. That was the day my three-day-free promotion began for my first novel, Lost and Found. The campaign surpassed my wildest expectations, both in freebies and in ensuing sales, so I was riding a high with my writing career on Friday.

Of course that means another part of my life had to suck monumentally to even everything out. And work truly sucked. I’ll admit, my job is pretty good as far as jobs-that-pay-bills go. I’ve had some really crappy jobs in recent years that have made me grateful to have my current job with a good company. I really don’t mean to complain about it, but things happen at work that are truly out of my control, and nothing riles me up more than getting in trouble for something that’s out of my control. That’s how I feel about what happened at about 4:15 last Friday. My boss– who’s really one of the nicest, fairest, most level-headed guys I’ve ever known– started the conversation by joking about making me cry… and then, to his surprise, he did make me cry. I’d had an incredibly stressful week, and for it to end with the feedback he gave me… well, it pissed me off. It made me mad. It pushed me to make a big decision.

Inspired by the minor success of the book last week, and frustrated with the job that actually pays the bills, I decided that I was going to become a full-time author in 365 days. (I wouldn’t consider this my official notice of resignation, because there are benchmarks I need to hit along the way, but I’ve set the goal of goals for myself.) I need to start selling enough books and generating enough publicity to be able to support myself by September 21, 2013. (I’ll also be looking for a home, so if anyone has a cheap spare room and no small children that my dog can eat, let me know. A lake house or mountain cabin would be optimal.)

I’m very self-motivated already, and have a few strategies in place. My big marketing efforts will start in November, and I hope to really start seeing more interest in my books. By then, I will also have released my new Young Adult book, which will hopefully introduce my style to a whole new generation of readers. In November, I will have four full-length novels and one novella on the market, with two more books in the editing phase and three more in the writing phase. I really am setting myself up for success, and I honestly believe I can do this.

A few things will be imperative. I can’t get depressed if sales don’t take off like I hope they will. I have to surround myself with people who believe in me, and distance myself from those that don’t. I’ll have to eliminate distractions. Most importantly, I’ll have to keep writing. I think I can feasibly release three books (at least) in the next year: the first and second books of Livvy’s series, and the first book of Steven’s series. But there always needs to be more in the pipeline. This career has to be sustainable. This has to earn me more money than my current job… but I think it can. I really think it can.