Finish the Book

Or, as a million billion writers say by way of advice: “keep writing.”

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Part of life lately has included delving into the world of freelance writing. I can (and still do) graphic design and website work, but although the last many years of my life have included those things, I’m not actually trained in either graphic design or web design. It’s all self-taught.

What I am trained (and educated, and experienced) in is writing. So it made sense to me to take what I’ve had a ton of experience in, working for private companies, and a ton of education in and make a go of it as a freelancer.

The most interesting thing thus far is dealing with the lack of external deadlines and direction. My preferred method of work is for someone to tell me what they want, when they want it, and then leave me alone until it’s done. Now I get to decide what I write, and I’m writing uninterrupted, but there’s no when decided for me!

Everything I’ve read/studied/heard about freelance writing says that it’s hard. Rejection comes often, and the work is a grind in every sense of the word. But then I’ve also heard that if you love writing (and I do) that it’s worth it.

So here I go! And if you know of any blogs or magazines or businesses who could use a good writer for some good content, let me know. 🙂

Delayed Relief

Last night I was up late. I was working myself down from a surprise adrenaline spike – a forgotten alert/reminder set back in my work days “pinged” at me about an approaching due date and for a few moments I was back in the headspace of untouchable stress.

I had an immediate “holy crap a huge deadline is due soon and I am totally unprepared!!!!!” panic reaction. And then, of course, I realized that deadline is no longer in my life. That job and almost all of its associated stress is a thing of the past.

What a relief, four months later.

The adrenaline lasted longer than the realization so I was awake for a while, marinating. For a while I wondered about the people who took over that big project, and how they were coping with a deadline looming. Then I wondered about the organization as a whole, and where it was headed. For a few minutes I imagined what would have needed to change for it to be a healthy place for me to stay. Then I started thinking about art projects and the storm had passed.

There’s been so much else happening in my life that I haven’t given much thought to where I’d be if I was still at the old place. It was bracing to realize how significantly that one (significant) step changed so much. With one swoop, 90% of the unmanageable stress in my life dropped out and with it, all the things I was doing to try to mitigate that stress.

It matters to me that you know there’s still stressors. Quitting my day job didnt magically make everything I encounter breathtakingly simple. What it did to was give me back the ability to control what I am committed to. It gave me a level of agency in my own life, which I needed. Most importantly, it allowed me to regain the notion that my mental well-being MATTERS to the work I do.

I’ve smiled and laughed more in the last three months than I did in the whole year previously. I can spend regular, pleasant, non-angsty time with Hubs every day. Meals are no longer a chore or an escape. The pets are quirky and hilarious instead of smelly and annoying. My dining room table is clear of accumulated junk for the first time in almost a year.

Life is better, much better. Its good to be reminded of it.

I finally fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning, with a smile on my face.