Backyard Feeder

Backyard Feeder
photo taken through porch screen

Monday, May 06, 2013

A Year of Freedom, A Year of Confusion

It's been a little over a year since I quit the day job to be a full-time writer and self-publisher. I really didn't know what that meant at the time and I'm still not entirely sure. I've come a long way, though I still feel like I'm traveling mostly in circles. Ditching the day job has not been what I had expected.
For one thing, I had originally planned to have all of the bills paid by my husband's job. Even knowing that it might be too much to expect, I certainly didn't guess that he'd decide to leave his job for self-employment. For another, I expected to get a lot more work done with the hours of free time I imagined. Who knew that he could get a lease on a truck and lose money consistently for four months? That it would take another three months to find another paying job? Who knew that I'd have to spend everything I made and half of my retirement fund just to keep the bills paid?  Sadly, I didn't know. I would never have guessed. How could I be so blind?

Now that things are back to "normal" and I can afford to be home writing again, I feel guilty for not earning enough. I feel guilty for staying home on days when I might be able to get a teaching assignment and miserable on days when I teach all day and don't have any energy left to write. I am back doing the two job lifestyle that had me so burned out before. I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything anywhere.

Even on days when I don't teach, I have trouble getting much writing done. I sit by the phone in case my husband needs to talk--so I end up listening to stories about bad drivers and tourist traps that are part of his life, but not mine. And I feel guilty if I'm not paying attention and I feel guilty about not writing and  I feel guilty all the time.

OK, step one: I need to make a plan to do some writing on a scheduled basis and to let everyone know that during certain hours, I am available for emergency only.
Step two: I need to find ways to get the word out about my books to get more cash coming in to my account.
Step three: I need to separate out the money from books and keep that for my personal expenses so I don't feel guilty about spending money that isn't my own.