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.


Karin Nellos said...

You will make it; give yourself a pat on the back for making the move out of retail and going back to doing something that you enjoy. That is what life is all about, isn't it?
Consider taking a marketing course online or at John Wood or QU,and once that is done then do some marketing. I enjoyed reading this article. Maybe consider writing a novel:) Karin

Bonnie said...

Thanks Karin,
I guess nothing really happens as quickly and as easily as we'd like, but I am glad I'm doing what I'm doing, even if I'm not making much money at it.

I'm not sure I'm brave enough to go back to school. I went to one toastmasters meeting and chickened out last week for the second meeting. Maybe I should write a novel.