This is what I like to categorise as a diary post – a catch up on some things that are happening in my ‘real life’ at the moment. These things aren’t writing-related, but you could say they’re having an effect on my writing all the same. (If this doesn’t interest you and you’re just here to learn more about my books, fear not – head on over to my newsletter to stay up to date with all the news on my A Matter of Class series!)
So what’s been going on in the offline world for me? Not one but two major points of upheaval: I’ve changed jobs and my husband and I are going to be moving house. Eek!
I’ll talk about the job situation first. This change happened at the start of September and it was no small move – we’re talking a full-on career turnaround. After nine years spent in school, I have finished teaching piano. I am now working an admin role providing student information in a third-level college. So I’m still dealing with students, but of a different kind!
This was no easy decision to make. In fact, I shed many tears as I agonised over what to do. It was very hard to say goodbye to my students, many of whom I had taught for several years, and one of whom I’d had for my whole nine years of teaching! Have a look at one of the goodbye cards I received below:
Just in case the image doesn’t show up properly, the last paragraph says: ‘I’m really going to miss you. Thank you for sharing your love of music with me. I promise to keep playing and practise nearly every day!!’
Needless to say, I was in bits when I read it. That was the moment where I felt most like ‘what the hell am I thinking??’
But there were other factors to consider. Chief among these was mine and my husband’s personal living situation with myself working in Tipperary, himself working in Dublin, and our house situated in Kildare, halfway between the two. This has been our set up for nine years with a commute of an hour for me and more than an hour for him. While there are some benefits to this (I got through all eight enormous audiobooks of Outlander in just two and a half years!), commuting has taken its toll. When the opportunity came up for me to obtain a job in Dublin, I had to take it for both our sakes.
As of right now, however, due to traffic congestion going into Dublin it’s actually taking me even longer to get to work (you know it’s a bad sign when you hear the news bulletin three times before you get out of the car). So moving back closer to Dublin is a no-brainer. We are in the process of selling our house in Kildare and buying one in Meath (fun fact: Meath will become the seventh county in Ireland I’ve lived in…!). This is all very messy as we will probably have to rent somewhere in between until our new house is ready to move into. But we’re keeping our eyes on the ultimate goal: hopefully we’ll have our new home by March 2019 and then we’ll have a commute of just thirty minutes. We won’t know ourselves.
One of the most difficult aspects of making this decision was that, even though it was the right thing to do, I knew it would have an impact on the amount of time I could give to my writing. I’ve gone from a four-day to five-day working week, I’m currently spending at least two hours and forty minutes in the car on weekdays, and I’m generally not getting to write until almost 9pm at night. It takes a certain kind of willpower to even open the laptop at that hour, after having been up since 6:15am! I’ve all but disappeared from Twitter and Facebook and haven’t been able to give any time to book promotion, so sales are pretty low right now because of that.
But I’ll keep at it. I’m telling myself that once we move it will get easier. And while it’s hard to open the laptop, there’s one thing that makes me do it anyway: all the lovely messages from people who have told me they loved A Class Apart and can’t wait for the next book! That is motivation like no other, so thank you very much for giving me that great boost. 🙂