You know that little hissy fit I had a while back where I publicly declared that I had had it and that I was going to treat my writing as if it were a real business (and not a hobby that could be interrupted at any moment just because someone “needs a pickup?”)
Well a funny thing happened on the way to my business. It’s kind of like the Universe was waiting for me to finish stomping my foot and when I was done said, “Well okay, then, let’s get to work.”
Last week, my first “full-time” week as a freelance writer, my business partner (Lisa Jackson from this blog) and I got 3 new clients and tons of new work. In a “you’ve got to be kidding” kind of moment, I also got some email from an editor who started it off with “You don’t know me, but I know you. Interested in some assignments?” Two other editors contacted me for a total of 7 feature articles due by the end of this week. And oh yeah, out of the blue I got paid for a project that I thought was long dead in the water.
It was a week worthy of inclusion in one of those “The Secret”-like books, you know, clearly define your future and it will arrive on your doorstep?
Every day I now leave the house and I set up shop anywhere I can. Sometimes it’s a coffee or sandwich shop, or a local library, including a university library. Basically, I try to write anywhere I can find some space and a wi-fi connection (I’ve even written from inside my car.) I write for the morning, break for lunch, and then write until about 3 or 4 at which point I head home and start the daily soccer and after school event diving.
And guess what? The house hasn’t fallen apart, the kids have not become juvenile delinquents, and I’m even getting help in the kitchen when it’s time to make dinner. We are all, as a family, on a much more even keel.
Who knew? Because obviously, I sure as hell didn’t.
To pay back the world for letting me write like this, I allocate 10 dollars a day for coffee and food. I see it as my rental cost for the space but I also see it as giving back to the community (I try to choose local restaurants and sandwich shops for lunches.) The way I see it, 50 dollars a week is a small price to pay for the writing freedom it brings.
As soon as I post this, I’m going to take a shower and then meet with a potential new client this morning. I know that the work is not going to continue like this and that as a freelancer I’m always going to have to do a little hustling but, I get it, I get it. I’ve always believed (and taught my kids) that no one can hit a target in the dark. If you are not clear on your path, if where you want to go is not illuminated, then chances are, you will spend your time not only wandering, but also being truly being lost.
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Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com)
Now, I just need to schedule in time to exercise…. baby steps.