Welcome to the Weekend Edition. Grab a cuppa and settle in for a meander. Glad to have you here.
We’re moving in a couple of weeks. I have spent the last year trying to find a house to buy (an “adventure” partially chronicled in a piece by fellow L2W-W2L blogger Lee, How to Buy a Home in a Seller’s Market), but – alas! – we were unable to find a suitable home. Part of me is disappointed. Part of me feels like I dodged a bullet.
I will be keeping a close eye on the market, but I’ve begun to question whether or not I want to buy a house. Though my nester’s heart loves the idea of having a little corner of the world to call my own, the physical and financial responsibility of home ownership is enormous. Life is short and we have limited resources. Am I sure I want to invest so much of my time, money, and attention in the procurement and upkeep of a physical space?
As a writer, my priority is to be able to write. But, what does that mean? It isn’t so much about having a room of my own as it is about having a different kind of space. Owning my home is less important than owning my time. To own my time, I need to create space in my life. I need to have the freedom to spend my minutes and hours and days doing the thing I love. While owning a home is a lovely ideal, it comes with a price. Am I willing to trade not only my existing financial assets, but also my future time assets in exchange for being able to say, “This is mine?” As my dad likes to say, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.”
Or, would I be happier if I created a life that left more room for the creative work I love? Would I be more fulfilled if I had a wealth of time to spend as I pleased instead of having to sell all my hours for dollars in order to ensure the security of four walls and a roof?
Though I’m not ready to make the leap, living in a tiny house is a fantasy I share with fellow L2W-W2L blogger, Wendy. I read stories about people, like Tammy Strobel (aka “@RowdyKittens“) who are changing the way we think about the American Dream. They are passing on the white picket fence and instead choosing freedom. Imagine if your monthly expenses were half what they are now, or a third, or a tenth. How would you spend all your reclaimed time?
For now, my daughter and I are very fortunate to have found a beautiful little apartment on the second and third floors of a darling house overlooking the river. It’s not ours and it’s not grand, but I have a feeling it will be the perfect place for us at this particular moment. And – who knows? – maybe one of these days I’ll be telling you about our tiny house. You never know …
What I’m Writing:
I am dying to share some of my latest columns with you, but I’m sticking to my guns and will no longer post my essays on my business blog. I clearly had a bit of an identity crisis there for a minute. Mixing my marketing blog posts with my lyrical writing was confusing even to me. In case you missed it, last week I shared a great post by Ann Handley on a related topic, How Do You Balance Your Personal and Professional Social Media Presence? This is a conundrum I’m still sorting out. It will likely involve the launch of another site/blog in the not-too-distant future. If it does, it’ll be the first time I’ve made my creative writing a central focus instead of a sideshow to my marketing writing. Yikes!
I’m happy to report that my use of the Way of Life app is helping me to be more consistent about my fiction writing practice. Though I’ve only been able to carve out a few minutes here and a few minutes there, those are a few minutes more than I was spending before the app. Works for me! Even better, I’ve found that even though I may spend only a few minutes actually writing, the practice is helping me keep my creative juices flowing “in the background,” so to speak. It feels good.
What I’m Reading:
I read another Kindle Single this week. I think I may be developing a minor addiction these bite-sized reads. This week’s selection was another piece by Robin Sloan, Annabel Scheme (affiliate link). After reading Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra stories, the story of Annabel Scheme was quite a switch, but I enjoyed the SciFi/ghost story romp through a world not unlike our own where a massively powerful search engine called Grail has all but taken over the world … except for the demons, they seem to do what they like.
I really enjoyed the way Sloan combined these futuristic concepts with the traditional private eye/gumshoe genre. It took what could have been standard fare and gave it a quirky flavor that was really fun.
On the other side of the literary continuum, I’m also reading Susan Orlean’s latest creative nonfiction novel, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend (affiliate link). I acquired my copy back in (hangs head in shame) October 2012 when I saw her speak up in Portsmouth, NH. I wrote about the event in my post, Susan Orlean on Curiosity and Courage. I can’t believe it’s taken me all this time to pick it up and start reading it!
This is my current “dining” book – the book I keep handy so that I can read a bit while I have my morning toast or lunchtime sandwich. I’ve also been known to pick it up while I’m cooking (never a good idea since cooking isn’t my strong suit to begin with).
Anyway – lots more of this one to enjoy, but I’m really liking it so far. Orlean is a wonderful storyteller and this story is one that can’t help but fascinate.
And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:
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- 17 Ways to Make the Most of Your Writing Time – Even When It’s Limited by @aliventures
- Your Legacy: How Do You Want to be Remembered? by @GiniDietrich
- The Best Writing Podcasts For Authors & Writers via @AuthorMedia
- The Most Underrated Skill for Creatives? Empathy. via @99u
- Thinking About Marketing As A Strategy For Growth Not Just Sales by @bernadettejiwa
- The Conundrum of Content Creation by @KDillabough
- The Far Edges: Interview with Sean Prentiss via @brevitymag
- How to Achieve a Return on Conversation with Emotional Marketing by @MadSMscientist via @markwschaefer
Finally, a quote for the week:
Wishing you that feeling of home no matter where you are. Have a wonderful weekend!
Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of the equestrian arts, voice, and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.