I have a lot of respect for writers that take risks with regards to pursuing their dreams. Being a writer means that you have to have a certain amount of free time in which to write, to day dream, to plot and plan. Quitting the day job is a big step, especially if that means living on the bread line, working from commission to commission, and only making your next mortgage payment based on your popularity with, say, white, female, middle-class 20-somethings going on package holidays to Alicante. It's risky business indeed. Not many authors ever get to live comfortably from their writing alone. I like to day dream about quitting my job and supporting myself with my writing, but there are too many variables that rely on chance for me to consider this as a viable option at present. I don't think I'd be brave enough to leap off the cliff into full-time writerdom without a parachute of some kind (a five-book deal? A big fat royalty cheque? A Nobel prize?). So I have a lot of respect for people who do leave the rat race, even part time, to pursue their dreams. Does playing it safe though mean that I'm a worse writer? Or that I'm any less serious than someone who has made more of a sacrifice, who has taken those risks? I don't think so, and I hope not. I think of it as being "sensible" rather than anything else, though there is a little bit of insecurity and fear mixed in there too.
I really enjoyed The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan, and after taking a short break to read The Boy With The Cuckoo Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu (good), I have now started reading the first book of Canavan's second trilogy The Age of the Five. I'm only on page 5 at the moment, but will tell you how it goes. Enjoyable so far, though her prose style is a little abstained - still, it is early days and I'm sure I will get into the story in a couple of pages time.
Still in the planning stages of what I *think* is going to be my next novel (don't want to jinx it!). Will give you more details next time. It's all very exciting at the moment, as I can see the potential in the story stretch out for me for miles. But whether I'm able to do it justice, well, we'll just have to wait and see!