I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Shaina. This isn’t an actual photo of her, but this pretty much sums up her life at work – too much to do, and too many phone calls to answer.
In order to get caught up, her boss hired a temp to file some paperwork. After a few issues with a couple of temps, Shaina called me. With a little finagling, I went in for a few half-days and got rid of that pile of papers. Shaina’s slightly less stressed and her boss wants to hire me.
But I’m a writer … right?
I am. I love to write. I love to help others learn how to write, but right now, I’m struggling to stay focused and be productive. It’s too easy for me to get distracted, and when an extrovert like me is at home for the fourth day in a row, I barely write anything. I definitely wrote more when I was substitute teaching, but the inconsistent schedule made it too difficult to schedule interviews and make it to appointments. Staying at home by myself, however, hasn’t worked out very well, either.
This week I finally had the chance to really start listening to some CDs from the Writing Career Coach, Tiffany Colter. Earning A Living As A Writer focuses on making your writing a business, not just something you do. As I listened to her teachings, I had some revelations:
1. I don’t like journalism. I don’t mind helping out the papers with feature stories, but I don’t care about hard news. I don’t like calling people at home to find out about the recent county lay-offs (especially when they blow me off). I don’t want to do that kind of writing.
2. I need structure. I’m not so sure freelance writing is the key for me, because there are too many variables. I don’t have subscriptions to anything. I’m not good at picking topics out of thin air. Give me some guidelines, and turn me loose.
3. I like helping others. I’ve loved the times I’ve critiqued/edited/coached others. I want to share my knowledge. Plus, the more I teach, the better I understand the information.
4. I am 100% extroverted. I need people. I need regular social interactions. I can’t handle 40 hours of cat bonding.
So where does these leave me?
First, I’m taking a part-time job with Shaina’s company. They’re going to pay me to open mail, talk on the phone, use office equipment, and work with Shaina. It’ll be two set days a week, so I can still write, cook, and play with the cats.
Second, I’m continuing to fine-tune my writing services, and I think I’m going to focus on editing, tutoring, and mentoring. I also love to blog, so I’m going to try to work that in there.
Third, with the regular, additional income I’m gonna pay someone to clean my floors and bathroom. I’m also gonna hire the neighbor boy to mow my lawn.
Fourth, the hubs and I have agreed to eat out on the nights that I’ll work. That will give me some free time at night to write, instead of cooking and cleaning.
There you have it – a little bit of change that, I think, will help me get back on track. It may seem counter productive to take a part-time job, but adding another element of structure is good for me. I need this. I’m excited to see where it will take me.