You’re Gonna Say I Cheated…

…and you wouldn’t be wrong. But you wouldn’t be entirely right either.

Wait! Before we go any further…

If you haven’t already, go check out my last blog post so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

It’s cool. I’ll wait.


Welcome Back!

Did you like it? No, I mean did you click the actual like button? And hey, why not follow me while you’re at it.

Go on.

I’ve got time.


Well hey, there stranger!

Okay, okay I’ll stop messing around and get on with it.

No one likes being called a cheater, present company included. So why am I afraid you’re going to call me one?

If you recall from my last blog post, a year ago I quit my job to pursue my completely attainable dream of becoming the next JK Rowling.

It looked something like this:


Then it looked something like this:


Now it mostly looks something like this:


But I digress.

Most people have those pesky things called bills and trust me, I’ve got ’em too.

When I quit my job I didn’t have a trust fund or rich parents. Heck, my parents aren’t even middle class!

SIDENOTE: If my parents could have had me committed after I quit my job, they would have.

I didn’t have a working bae, or an awesome roomie to split expenses with and I definitely didn’t have the winning lottery ticket… but I did have something else.

Ten years of hard labor (okay, not actually hard nor labor) scanning and bagging groceries for a certain southern-based supermarket chain with AMAZING benefits. How amazing?


And I’m not talking about your standard 401k (although they offered that too). This was completely free stock given to me by the company JUST for working there. I think people smarter than myself call it an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan)

After ten years of collecting shopping carts and stock, ya girl was rolling in dough!


Whoops! Teeheehee.


That’s more like it.

Ten years of stock came out to the tune of $29,000 – give or take.

Not too shabby, right?

Well, sure that money was supposed to be for my retirement and yes I did have to pay a stiff early withdrawal penalty and yes if it wasn’t for the money I never would have made it through my first official year as a self-employed writer.


I know there’s a few of you, or most of you, who are rolling your eyes at how ‘first world problem’ the last paragraph is. I don’t deny it. But that’s the thing, isn’t it?

Quitting your job to pursue your passion is a completely privileged thing to do.

The United States is one of the few countries in the world where something like this is permissible and even encouraged.

But even though it’s a privilege, it sure ain’t pretty. And it sure ain’t for everyone.

If you’re thinking about quitting your job, you need to get real with yourself, and I mean “stop being polite and start getting real” real.

can you afford to quit?2


I’m well aware that this path isn’t for everyone.

Heck, this path might not be for me, but I’m on it and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

And maybe I am a cheater but that $29,000 kept a roof over my head, plant-based vegan cuisine in my fridge (I know, I know) and allowed me the freedom to do the one thing I was put on this earth to do.


So what about the rest of my fellow, not-quite-starving, artists out there?

How do you pay the bills while working on your craft?

Am I complete idiot for cashing out my retirement?

Drop a comment below and let me know what you think.

evelyn dar



4 thoughts on “You’re Gonna Say I Cheated…

  1. I have tried to do the same – and multiple times, and I have always ended up getting another job, but one that enhances or allows me to learn more about the “do what I love” part (if that makes sense). I am a writer, designer, artist and photographer – an have slowly been pivoting my jobs to help enhance that. I have to pay the bills and support a family. I started working for printers, doing typesetting, light design and learning all about printing and social media promotion. This has lead to a full understanding of several processes that help me get MY work out there – and learning how social media works, learning WordPress, learning how to get the best prints of my artwork and photos – all while making money to pay the bills. Time management is also a problem with this because I can’t ALWAYS do what I love, but again – learning as I go. I hope to pivot away from working for someone else, and being able to “do what I love” and pay people to work for ME.

    1. Marc,
      First of all hats off to you for pursuing your dreams while supporting a family. I have two furry children and some days it feels like two too many lol.
      And the fact that you’ve done this multiple times is incredibly inspiring. I think the biggest mistake people make is letting setbacks derail them and never trying again. I want to tell them “No, go back to your corner, drink some Gatorade, slap a little Vaseline on your face and get back in the ring. It’s not over until you win.”
      Thanks for the comment and I wish you all the success in the world.

  2. I honestly love reading your blogs. You write in a way that makes me feel like I’m listening to you speak instead of just reading it. You’re witty and real and def relatable. I have NO advise for you like you requested at the end. BUT! I did want to let you know how I feel about your posts 🙂

    1. Oh wow, that is such an awesome compliment. The blogging world is still super new to me and I’m figuring it out as I go along. Thanks Ivyy! 🙏 and you already know I’m looking forward to your next blog post 😉

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