Wow! I know, three articles in one day!
I think every mother/parent is familiar with the dilemma of managing time...I have a rather substantial stack of dishes and an icky floor and mountains of clean laundry and probably just as much dirty laundry (thanks to son #1) sitting behind me at the moment. Don't know that I'll ever have this particular dilemma actually solved.
But every writer at heart struggles with the balance of family life, working to get paid, and following what her heart is telling her that she needs to do. I've always known that I would be a writer, but I knew that what I wanted to write wouldn't be enough to live on...at least in the beginning...so I capitalized on some of my other skills -- editing, typing and organization -- to pay the bills.
Fifteen years of secretarial work finally morphed into an opportunity to work from home doing what I loved -- working with words. I wouldn't have changed my decision for the world (you couldn't pay me enough to get me into an office job), but it doesn't mean it was without its struggles.
It meant putting me -- someone who is somewhat obsessive over schedules and incomes -- doing a job that is predictable in every aspect. One day is never the same as the next and every month brings with it the uncertainty of whether or not I will actually have work, and whether or not payments will come in precisely when I need them to. There was also the challenge of where would the work come from.
I cannot go any further without completely acknowledging how much this is a faith lesson. For any other obsessive compulsive type person letting go of control over such a major aspect of life would probably have resulted in anaphylactic shock or something. But, surprisingly, I was completely at peace with this...and still am. The work I've needed has always come to me and the Lord has never failed to provide...which leads me to the next transition.
I feel I have reached the point where I can finally trim some of the work I advertise and focus on those few regular clients and finally, finally, finally, get writing for myself. I've started taking more weekends off and enjoying the time with my kids and relaxing. I've already adjusted my website to reflect my new priorities...and even though the changes seem rather drastic, they were logical and I have no regrets at all.
There are a lot of things lining up for the second half of 2011 and I won't spoil them by posting on them now...but let's just say this whole change of perspective is part of the plan. I'm tired of watching the year swoosh by and I still have no books finished, my music is still sitting there unpublished and unformatted and unrecorded, and I don't seem to have any better grasp on life and home than I did in the beginning. I'm usually one of those "grab the bull by the horns" type people. I'm tired of playing the "someday I'll" game.
Of course, one can't always just do whatever they want. Sometimes these things are a journey in and of themselves. There has to be a certainty that these choices are the right ones to make at that time...and I have that feeling.
The toughest part of this is regaining the work discipline I once had, which has been challenged because the boundary between home and work is so much more flexible. But then, that's one of the advantages to being my own boss--I get to pick my own hours, right?
Setting a schedule is much easier when someone else is giving you work that has to be completed by a certain point in time. It is much more difficult--I find, anyway--to keep that tight schedule when it's just me...regardless of self-imposed deadlines and daily target word counts.
But it's a drive I just can't squelch anymore. I have to do this to silence the hundreds of literary voices in my head and particularly the one that keeps reminding me of how many ideas I have sitting in my notebook waiting for me to flesh out. Well, the waiting is over. I can't take it anymore! It's time to let the voices out and get the pen and keyboard to work.
Will try to keep you updated!
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