Are you crazy? You must be crazy! Yeah, you're crazy.

I’ve been hearing that a lot lately.

Actually, no I haven’t, but I’ve been seeing it a lot (my wife has heard it though, unfortunately). It’s in the facial expressions, it’s between the lines. When people find out I quit my job, without something else lined up, they’re voice says, “Good for you! You’re talented, you’ll find something in no time.” While they’re face says, “You are an idiot.”

Then I explain to them why I’m leaving and their faces switch from, “You are an idiot,” to “Sucks to be you.”  While I can’t fully explain why I’m leaving (I work at the paper till Dec 31), I can tell you that my industry has something to do with it. It’s quite depressing to be in the newspaper biz—it’s all doom and gloom these days. I’m constantly reading about papers closing, reporters being laid off or bought out, and how some are resisting the changes new media is bringing, and failing miserably. It’s not a very happy environment.

Then there are other reasons, which I ironically wrote about in the paper in an article called Jumping Ship. I’d link there, but I doubt they’d appreciate the trackbacks from this. You can visit their wordpress blog and find it though.

Another contributing factor is my passion. I knew when I took this job I wouldn’t be here long. For starters I don’t like newspapers--especially business news--I told myself in college that I would never work at one. But I needed a job and I wanted to write for a living so I took it. I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons, but I was never truly passionate about this. My passion lies in writing and illustrating books. It’s what I will do full-time some day, I just don’t know when. With that passion and assurance always pounding inside of me, it got hard to sit still on a sinking ship.

Of course, something great has to happen in the next six weeks for me to decide not to pursue full-time work again (maybe someone will buy one of my books). The chances of that are slim, so I’m looking. It’s times like this where I’m really glad I stuck it out and got that master’s degree in the science of education. I think I’d like to get back to teaching—it’s more stable than the newspaper biz, it can be extremely rewarding, and it’s fun. If I have to do the day job thing until I can be a full-time writer, I might as well do it in an environment that is a little more upbeat, a little more satisfying. Then again, I'm not going to limit myself to teaching, I'm up for anything.

It’s funny; I’ve had more than a few people tell me my problem wouldn’t be finding a job, but rather deciding where to go, because so many people would want me. I’m not sure, because some of them told me that through email, but I think their faces were saying, “Good luck at Burger King.”