There are times in my life when I take decisive action, stop waiting at the crossroads for the light to turn green and just step on the gas. When I do that, what I remember (although it may not always happen, as memory is selective) is that things open up and I have some choices.
I’ve been see-sawing for a couple of months with the idea of applying for a part-time job. The little money demons in my head are becoming louder – although I’m still good for a few months – and I need to shut them up so I can work. The decision to apply to a call centre, which I did last week, seems to have broken things open.
I have an appointment to go in for testing on Tuesday; essentially this means seeing if I can do data entry. In the meantime, I have writing things starting to pile up. I got a poet-for-hire commission. I’ve been asked about writing workshops and workshops in some other things like herbs and natural dyes. I’ve been discussing with a magazine publisher the possibility of taking over her ad sales. I’ve decided to apply for an editorial position on another magazine. A friend who is the curator of a museum suggested I apply to be an interpreter at a historic site. “You’d be great at that,” she said. I’m considering advertising my editorial services in Hope Clark’s newsletter.
I’m 99% certain of this job – four weeks of training and then part-time work three days a week. Yes, it’s minimum wage. Yes, most of the people I know say I’m way over-qualified for it. But I’m going ahead with it anyway because I need to pay the bills. The difference now is this – before, I thought that was pretty well my only road. Now I see that other roads are opening up, whether or not I want to take them, or take them right now.
I’ll confess now that I was feeling very unhappy about the whole get-a-job thing, even though I know it’s the reality for most writers. I earned my living at art before, and I thought I could do it with writing, too. I will – but just not yet.
In the meantime, I have options. I’m going ahead with the path I’ve started down, but I’m exploring other things, too. Earning enough part-time to pay even some of my bills, and having a couple of days a week to write without worrying, beats having those money demons nagging at me every day.
I’ve been saying for years, “I can do so may things, there’s got to be a way to screw a living out of them.” I still believe that. Still working on it, even part-time.