A lot of you were asking about my writing life and career-y stuff in the survey last week. And the reason I haven’t been talking about it tons lately is because I’ve been sorting it all out on my end. Lots and lots of sorting.
Since I quit my non-career-oriented office job in July, so many life things have happened, it threw me for a bit of a loop at first and I had to work at sorting it all out. At first, working from home was awesome. I felt productive, I wasn’t bored, I would get up and go go go. I was writing and working and making our quality of life better. I felt motivated and happy. But when we got back from the honeymoon and I was sick for a few weeks, and things were kind of derailed. I lost my routine and I hated being sick for so long and my motivation suffered. When my motivation falls by the wayside I tend to beat myself up a lot. Why aren’t I working harder? Why am I being so lazy? Why can’t I just DO IT. I am hard on myself even when my body is yelling at me that it needs rest, or a change, or a minute to sort things out. This happens to many of you post wedding, and the feelings I had were no different except they were 100% career focused. And that freaked me out.
So about 6 weeks after the wedding, when I was still struggling with a solid direction to head in, I realized I was super unhappy. I don’t like working from home, in fact I hate it. It’s incredibly lonely, and I constantly felt like I wasn’t not doing enough, and it felt just like when you have homework to do, but you’re on vacation and it’s constantly hanging over your head. Things like writing emails or even writing on here became a huge burden and a chore. Every time I picked up my computer it felt like work, even when it wasn’t, and I could never escape the office because I was always there.
And that’s when I knew I needed a new direction. Not everything you try works, and this I needed to be ok with. The only problem was I wasn’t sure where to head next, I just knew I needed to stay career focused and I wasn’t out to get “just any job”. I’ve never been able to afford to be picky before, and though by “afford” I mean barely scraping by, I was going to take advantage of the positives in our situation. So I applied for every social media marketing/writing/editing/publishing job I could get my hands on. If I had to build my own career, then dammit I was going to get it done. I knew 2 things for sure: I can write anything in any voice you want me faster than the next guy, and if I’m enthusiastic about a product (regardless of what it is), I can sell the shit out of it.
I know that there are a lot (and by a lot I mean few in comparison to the MASSES) of writers in the world who are lucky enough to be able to write what they want, to be able to live in a creative space most of the time, and to focus on personal projects as their main source of income. I would eventually like to be clumped into that category, but at this point in time I am focused on being employed in a position where I’m dealing with words all day, where I feel challenged and where I’m able to see a future and use the experiences I’m gaining as stepping stones.
And finally, after months of applications, I have a job that starts in the new year! I’ll be writing content for Priceline (Oh William Shatner) about something I love (Travel!), and it’ll be the normal, boring 9-5 (or whatever my hours may be), and I’ll be in an office building where I get to wear real people clothes, and chat with real office people at the water cooler, and get a real paycheck twice a month, and I am crazy person grateful and crazy person excited.
I have a job! Where I will be writing every day!! It’s amazing.
And as far as creative stuff – I’ve started re-writing my novel. And not like “oh yeah, I should get to that,” but really re-working it, starting from a different place, totally different point of view, moving in a direction I think is truly viable. And the best part about all of this is the ability to separate what happens at home (the creative stuff) and what happens at work (the challenging, business minded stuff that isn’t directly for me, but for an audience outside of me). I’ve learned tons about myself and how I work best in the last year. And when my spheres all collide I get very befuddled and stop any forward momentum. I feel so much energy and hope for this new adventure, and I’m so glad you’re coming along with me.