It felt a bit like this:
Because unlike every other time I walked out of that office, I wasn't looking ahead to the next day, or the day after the day after tomorrow, when I'd have to walk back in again.
Thanks to my having fallen into a big sloshy barrel of good luck and snared the position of daily TV writer for the Fairfax newspapers, I'm now a full-time writer, and no longer a full-time not-writer. This not only means no more eight hour days of reading newspaper reports about suburban graffiti, rural bowls results and grey nomad caravan magazines, but it also means no more driving for 2-3 hours every day to get to work and back, all the time feeling a bit like this:
Such an earth-shaking epoch in one's life can't help but cause a bit of reflection. I started working at my "day job" in September 2006, which means I've been there for seven years and five months, approximately. As dedicated fans will know, my first published piece of writing appeared on November 8, 2007 - this means that my career as anonymous desk-slogger pre-dates my career as online opinion snarker by more than a year. I've been in that job considerably longer than I've been able, even in the loosest sense, to call myself a "professional writer". The fact that I can now not only call myself such, but not qualify it with, "oh but I also have..." is quite exhilarating and something of a relief.
Until 2011 my day job was actually a night job. This means that for around 3-4 years my writing was mainly done in the mornings, after staggering home after the 11pm-7am shift, or else hurriedly banged out at night, after I woke up, before 10pm, when I'd have to leave the wife and kids and drive to work.
Since I switched to days my writing has mainly been done in the evenings after a more civilised shift, but still. always, in the fog of after-work fatigue. I think it's a weariness a lot of writers know, of doing the job you care about in the little narrow slits of time in between the job that you need.
I'm hoping I can now be less tired, and more creative, and more energetic, and that therefore this year will bring forth many magical things from me, online, in print, and on stage and screen. Fingers crossed, anyway.
It is in my nature to forever be pushing to achieve more, so I see this as another step forward, but nowhere near a final destination. But it's a big deal, a huge deal, for me, and I am very very fortunate to find myself in this new position. And if you have ever read, laughed at, linked to, retweeted, listened to, watched, or commented on anything I've done, you've helped me find this stroke of luck.
I'm really, really grateful to you all.