A big change is coming…

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I’ve had some news that came as a bit of a shock. I’ve been notified that I was part of a “resource action” at IBM (normal people call them layoffs). In a move that will see some 17,000 employees cut from the payroll, IBM’s Cloud division is scaling back due to generally poor outlook in sales, competition in the space, etc. You can read more about it here.

Whatever the reason, it was a jarring call. I’ve never been let go from any position. Ever. I’ve always moved on to new opportunities. I’ve never had any significant time off, either. I’ve always moved straight from one job to the next since entering the workforce. So my first thought was “what the hell am I going to do?” It’s still my main thought, to be honest. I’ve been sleeping poorly, worried about what’s going to happen, how I’m going to provide for my family, what the ramifications will be both near-term and long. I’m the main breadwinner in the family. My wife and I have two kids, making the math even more daunting. Replacing that lost income is not going to be easy.

But this isn’t all bad news. I don’t need to replace all the income I’ve lost. I’ve been saving for retirement from the moment I started working, so we’re already okay there (barring some major financial sector meltdown). Plus, my writing income has been steadily increasing. My wife is just now re-entering the workforce after taking time off to raise our kids. We’ve been talking for years about downsizing our house to be better able to handle a full-time job in writing. Taking the leap into writing and getting out more fiction was a goal I was coming closer and closer to every year. So when this news came along, I started mulling a head-first dive into writing rather than looking for another job in IT, and the more I thought about it, the more excited I became.

Anyone who knows me knows how methodical I am. I need to know that we can sustain ourselves. The house downsizing is only the first step. Writing is a famously unsteady occupation. I have a number of books under contract over the next several years, but there’s no guarantee beyond that. And, to be perfectly frank, even those books are not guaranteed. They could tank, and then I’d be facing a dry spell.

Because I’ll have more time on my hands to work on some smaller projects, I’ve decided to start a Patreon, the goal of which would be to create more fiction, to share it with backers, and to provide writing tips along the way. You can take a look at the Patreon page itself for more details, but the short of it is that I’m looking to raise $2,000 per month to help with health insurance for my family, a cost that skyrockets when you’re no longer getting company-provided health care.

If I could impose on you, my friends, please take a look at the Patreon. There are some very reasonable rewards that will actually pay for themselves with the rewards I’m offering, and there are some higher goals that provide some pretty unique opportunities.

Please spread the word if you could, and if you decide to join the gang, I thank you sincerely.