Remember one of my last posts entitled, “I Quit”? Well, last month, I almost did.
I’ve applied for some writing gigs and heard nothing. I’ve scoured writer job forums–the supposedly good ones–until my eyes glazed over. An urgent (or shall I say desperate) need for cash sent me back to writing for a former client and friend at a much lower rate than I would like. It gave me the chance to chat with my writer buddy again, and I did end up getting higher paying work with another client through her, so it’s all good. However…
I’m four months’ behind in rent. Thankfully I have a landlord who “really doesn’t need the money” (must be nice) and he’s been very understanding about my unemployed status. He even gave me the go-ahead to use the rent money on any pressing bills if necessary, but I really want to get caught up before he thinks I’m taking advantage of his kindness.
And then there’s my car. It needs about $800 of front-end work. I also have to pay $900 by the end of this month or I’ll have my own “Operation Repo” situation to deal with (without the dramatics, of course). I should be able to make good on the double car note payment, but it means fixing the car will have to be postponed. I still drive it for short trips, but I pray every mile of the way that it won’t break down. On top of that, the state inspection expired (not that it would pass anyway), so I’m taking a risk every time I drive it.
The stress took a physical toll. I’m an emotional eater, so I stress-ate a bit more than I should’ve. Helping my writer friend/client on a huge project detoured my regular workout regimen. I put back on 11 pounds, and my blood pressure spiked slightly, causing me to have a few light-headed days. That, if anything, was a sign that I needed to start controlling my reactions to stress and stop letting stress control me. I want to get off the meds, not take more of them.
It all made me question if a freelance writing business was really for me, and more specifically, if it was really what I wanted. I seriously considered going back to the brick-and-mortar world fulltime, where I could count on getting a biweekly check. I’d worry a lot less about when I could pay my bills. It would be so much more easier to budget. I could get my car fixed. I could buy some stuff for my apartment. I could rest easier.
Then I remembered I would be going back to having to rise at 6 AM to rush around so I could hit the roads and fight through traffic to get to work by 8 AM. I would be going back to having someone tell me when I could go to lunch, having to let someone know when I was going to the restroom or having to ask for permission to take time off for a doctor’s appointment or vacation. The longer you have time freedom, the harder it is to give up.
I looked into WAH non-writing jobs, like customer service and transcription. I could do the latter because it was part of my former life as a secretary. I’m not sure I want to do the former. My customer service experience consists of dealing with Avon customers, and that’s a lot more enjoyable than dealing with irate customers who want to bitch about their Direct TV bill. And at less than $10 an hour? I don’t think so.
The fact is, for the first time in my life I’m trying to earn a living doing something that I truly love to do, and I’m not giving that up without a fight. Life’s too short to spend your entire life doing something you loathe. No one on their deathbed ever wishes they had more time to work on that job that sucked.
November is off to a much better start. I’m about 6 pounds lighter with a much lighter workload. I’m still on the prowl for higher paying gigs, of course. I realize I need to do more. Applying to “some” gigs won’t cut it. I also can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing something wrong. I have a feeling my query/cover letters may not be up to par. I still write cover letters as if I’m applying for an office job. I don’t think that’s going to work now. Definitely need to tweak it and perhaps have it critiqued by one of my more seasoned writer friends who may pick up on what I’m missing.
I’m going to start setting up my writer’s site. It’s time.
And I’m done stressing. It goes against my faith, it’s not healthy and it ages you. I’ll age when I’m 90 and not one day sooner.