As of Monday, I will no longer be a full-time writer, a state of affairs which will last for at least the next year. I was offered work at Cross Country Automotive Services, a call centre in Sault Ste Marie. It’s incoming calls only, no sales, which suits me fine. I had to make a one-year commitment to get the job, and while I had some reservations about that at the beginning, I now think it’s overall a good idea.
There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that already I can feel myself relaxing a bit about the money, and the little money demons in the back of my head aren’t as noisy as they once were. Part-time isn’t going to pay all the bills, but it’ll pay a good chunk of them, and that’s very important.
Another reason is that this month, since I made the decision to apply for part-time work, some things have shaken loose in the writing end of my life. I’ve had four unlooked-for assignments, articles that I was asked to do rather than ones I pitched to get. One of those is a nice bit of work from Canadian Living, a magazine I really wanted to work with. It’s good pay and a very good clip for my file. But the other nice thing is that every one of those four assignments is from publications I’ve worked with before, so that’s repeat clients who are looking for me. Hot damn – this works!
I also thought about this business of not having as much time to write as I currently have. I think that writing, like housework, homework and almost any other kind of work, will fit the available time. If you have more time, it takes more time, or maybe you fritter more time. If you have less time, you just get it done in the time you have. It’s a bit like a deadline, really.
In 2008, when I began focusing seriously on my writing, I was working part-time, and I still wrote over a hundred stories and poems. That means that it’s not time – it’s energy and inspiration and using the time you have well.
I seriously think that shutting those little money demons up is going to make a change for the better in my ability to produce good writing. I’ll sleep better, I won’t fret over grocery money or money for the phone bill. I’ll still be looking for paid writing gigs, but now the amount of money I have to make in a given month from my writing will be much less, about 60% less, so I’ll have more energy to put towards fiction and poetry.
The other thing I did was advertise my editorial service, the Writer’s Dominatrix, in Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers. So far no business, but if nobody knows I’m out there, they’re definitely not going to hire me.
I know that I’ve actually been doing very well as a beginning freelance writer, but the money demons have been telling me otherwise. A good year as a beginner may simply not be enough to keep the wolf from the door in Canada, and there are many other writers who’ve gone the part-time route and lived to tell about it. I’ll be back to full-time, maybe even sooner than I think.
Take that, money demons!