I can’t believe I did it. I quit my job. It was a moment of madness, pure madness. That is the only way I can describe it. I mean, what was I going to do? I have no real qualifications, I have worked a range of office jobs; from Debt Collecting to High-Value Insurance claims and finally, Aviation Lease Contracts. One succession of jobs, that were nothing to me other than a paycheck. A means for me to get from the first day of the month to the last.

But now… I am free.

It wasn’t an easy decision but it was one I just had to make. I was suffocated in that office, uninterested and fed up with the drudgery of it all. I wanted to do something I enjoyed with my life. Sure, I write, but that isn’t paying the bills just yet.

After a long cup of coffee, enjoyed at my dining room table with a view of my backyard, instead of the normal place; behind my desk with a view of the main road, I drew up a list of my options.

A few cups later, I had made my decision. For as long as I can remember, I have loved words. Books, blogs, magazines, movie scripts, I love them all. It has long been a dream of mine to open up my own little bookshop. A quaint little place that makes people relaxed the moment they walk through the door. A haven for people to come and enjoy the true pleasures that reading can offer.

As I thought about it, my idea expanded, and by the time the day was out, I had drawn up a plan of what I wanted. I had even picked out a location. It was in the city near by to where I live. Situated between the large teaching hospital, the University, and a relatively substantial ‘office’ area. As luck would hav eit, it was also just a few meters away from the main shopping street too.

I sat back that evening and admired my plans. Nothing was concrete, all just paper decoration at that moment, but something about it all just felt right.

The business was to be part book store and part coffee bar, with a menu for a range of beverages and also for a range of reading material. The customers cold uplace their order and get an e-reader of choice delivered to their table with the chosen book / magazine (etc) loaded and ready to go.

The bookstore would cater to indie writers as well as traditional ‘mainstream’  authors. People could send me their books, I would read them and maybe buy a few to sell in the store. I would hold an even every Wednesday night, a live reading, or a discussion group, every week something different, on a monthly rotation.  For those looking for a little peace-and-quiet; maybe to study (remembering the university nearby), I have allowed space for some private rooms, which will be furnished with a comfy chair, and a nice desk. There would be telephone in each room so new orders can be called through to not disturb the occupant too much.

Having children myself, I know how hard it is for people to be able to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while in the city. So not only would there be a large sign advertising the fact that children are welcome, but I would have a supervised crafts / play room so that the parents can relax and enjoy a little bit of ‘me’ time, knowing that their children were being entertained and in good hands.

What would I call this dream of mine? This I pondered for some time, before settling on the name Indie’s. All I needed to do was to sit down and make this a reality. A business plan was needed, money was needed, financing and savings, possibly even a business parter. It would be a family business, myself and my wife in charge, a small staff of course. Each one a fan of books and possibly even writers themselves.

As they say, you should think big or go home, and so I have plans to maybe open smaller premises inside Schiphol airport and also in the University itself; on the campus. Customers would be rewarded for their patronage with offers and gifts from time to time. Maybe even a sort of debit card that they can top up and rent books or buy coffee in that fashion rather than having to pay each visit etc.

But things must be done in order, and the first thing I need to do is…..

Wake up.

My alarm clock is buzzing in my ear. It’s dark, just before 5am, and as I swing my legs out of bed and shake my head to get my eyes to stay open, I also manage to shake away the dream… that oh so sweet image. For in the real world I have no savings. There is no business partner waiting in the wings to help me out. I have no chance to evenr open Indie’s, and while dreaming is that should be encouraged, it would appear that there are times when they must remain just that.

I trudge downstairs and one cup of instant coffee later – the cheapest of the cheap – I am writing my manuscript (the best time of the day) and preparing myself for the commute to work and the ensuing 8 hours of misery before I can come back home to my wife and kids and prepare for the night ahead, where maybe, just maybe, I will this time sleep long enough to actually see Indie’s Grand Opening.

 

This piece of Fiction or as I would class it, Future writing we inspired in part by a recent post from the indescribably wonderful Kristen Lamb who talked about how the secret to success is to quit!! If you haven’t read the post then I highly recommend it.

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19 thoughts on “Living The Dream

  1. U have what matters most, i.e; business acumen, Knowledge , skill and above all, Passion. Except in service kind of things, degrees matter. Remember one thing in life, Ur children from U.
    My best wishes for a truly satisfying and prosperous future on all counts,
    Mehrotra ( a 67+ young retired engineer)

    1. Thank you Mehrotra, maybe one day I will be able to take the plunge. It is certainly the only through that helps me through the office hours each and every day. The post itself is a mix of truth and fiction, much as is all of our futures.

      I really appreciate you reading the post and for leaving the comment.

  2. Don’t let “one day” become “never.” I’m working on the same (quitting job, finding some fulfilling like opening a cafe or just finding freelance work). It’s scary but I have a plan in the works…then again, selling my book for an obscene amount of money (lol) would help too

  3. Man! You’re so bad! I was reading this very early this morning while at work. The whole time I was thinking, “OH-My-God, he did it! The crazy [expletive deleted] did it! He quit his job! I can’t believe he did it. I wish I could just quit my job, too. That would be frigging awesome…”
    And then I got to the end.
    Tonight, when I lay down to bed, I’ll be thinking of quitting mine. I’ll be sure and let you know if I get to my Grand Opening.
    Take care, Alex.

    -Jimmy

  4. Ah Alex…you’re dreaming my dream too. Every single thing you describe is something I would like to have, as both a writer /and/ as a reader. The world needs bookshops like yours. I need bookshops like yours! Make it happen. Maybe not tomorrow or next year or even ten years from now but when the moment arrives and you are at a crossroads between the possible and the safe…please choose the possible and open that bookshop.

    I’m going to face the rest of the day with a smile on my face. Thanks for that.

    1. Then the post was worthwhile Andrea. One day my little coffee house / literary cafe will open and I will bring you over to be the first customer!

      One day I will make it a reality, I just have to. Otherwise, the prospect of the office job extending until retirement just seems far too bleak.
      Hope you are having a great day.

  5. Alex, you got me all excited at the beginning of your post, then I couldn’t decide whether it was fact or fiction! That was brilliantly written, and I really do wish for you to manifest your dream very soon. My dream involves the renovation of an old mill and a canalside cottage in our town into a holistic therapy centre, cafe and shop. One day soon I will receive the money to make it happen, and so will you…

    1. Thank you Catherine, I am glad you liked it. What you felt is exactly what I was aiming for. It is fiction but only because it is the future. I believe that the future is nothing but Fiction and it is up to us to make it fact.

      One day I will open up my coffee house and it will be a have for artists and writers the world over.

    2. I would love that. I am coming over to the UK in the middle of May, but I’m heading over to Suffolk, bit far away for a visit. 😦 but a coffee at Indie’s is a definite plan 🙂

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