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ThinkingThe question was asked, “If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

To me the question is a no-brainer. A year ago I gave up a career with a decent salary to start a writing career from scratch. As a scientist my life spanned the days as marine biologist, to aquatic toxicologist, to ecological risk assessor, to chemical regulation expert to making scads of cash for a bunch of lawyers. I left when the latter forgot who made it for them.

So I scrapped it all. From prosperity to poverty in one fell swoop (well, sort of). And I love it. I now set my own schedule of reading, writing, and researching to the power of three (<— inside joke about Abraham Lincoln). I have deadlines, both internally and externally imposed, but the results benefit me and my readers, my clients, and the general public. I have two books published, the first of which is on its second printing and selling as fast as Barnes and Noble can restock them on the shelves. The second flew off the online shelves of Amazon. The Lincoln book is taking shape, I’m editing papers for publication, writing articles for magazines and newsletters, and generally enjoying the trickle of income that passes my way.

Best choice I ever made.

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book on Abraham Lincoln is due out in summer 2017.


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