You can serve this cake at any time, but it is best consumed alone in a dark room in the middle of the night when you are having a panic attack about facing the Person Who Is Bullying You the following day even though you have done nothing that person could possibly comment on.
Like a lot of early career academics, I've read a lot of quit lit, but I honestly never thought I'd be on the verge of writing my own. But things have changed a lot in the last (academic) year and I wanted to chronicle that in some way even though I'm not ready to write 'quit lit'.
And finally, the usual caveat: quit lit isn't ever about an academic quitting academia. Sometimes it's about realisations that academia isn't right for you - perhaps that's some of where my feelings are headed - and sometimes it's about a system that gives up on early career academics - that's definitely a part of my story. Sometimes, too, it's about the ways that personal circumstances create a cumulative effect on the work that a precarious academic can do. That's also a part of my story. And sometimes it's about the way that other people interject into one's academic career to derail it, whether purposefully or otherwise, and that's also part of my story. There isn't ever a single reason: 'I couldn't get a job' or 'academia wasn't right for me'. There's always a multitude of things that combine like ingredients to bake a cake of failure (or a cake of opportunity, or perhaps they are the same thing).