It’s been almost three years since I worked in an office full time. Before taking the “self employed plunge,” I thought that anything could be better than working for a company. I hated being rushed in the mornings. I hated being chained to a desk. I hated being evaluated for hours worked instead of my productivity, insight and efficiency. The more I focused on these feelings, the bigger they got, until they seemed unmanageable, and it became unthinkable to stay in the gilded cage of corporate America.
I took the great leap and like most things in life, about two months later, reality started to set in. It was no longer thrilling to answer emails in my pajamas, or to jog in the middle of the afternoon without asking anyone's permission. There were things like juggling client expectations and "how am I going to pay this bill next month?"
I tried to build in elements of freedom so that this whole experiment could at least seem worthwhile. But it turns out that being motivated by next month's paycheck never did quite measure up. Instead of needing to be completely free to chase my own wiles, it turns out that what I needed was a lot of things that a formal 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job offered. I needed things like structure (tasks to fill my day); companionship (friends to work alongside and eat lunch with most every day); expectations (do this by this point, please); rhythm (see you on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday); and contribution (you helped make this possible!).
Why am I telling you all this today?
Well, because last week I didn’t write Step 6 of the 7-step series we’re in the middle of. I don’t have a nice orderly blog to offer you today. It’s outlined on paper, but it is not written. And instead of pushing and cranking on myself to get it out at the ninth hour last night, I thought I’d take a stab at letting you know what's up.
A few weeks ago, we got some really tough news about my dog, Georgia. It was unexpected and incredibly emotional to hear; she and I have been through so much together. And even though she's eight years old, it's still so hard to think about not having her around in the coming years. Additionally, my husband's startup is in "launch ... launch ... launch" mode -- it's going to be amazing once this piece of software gets the green light, but right now spells more limbo for our family. On top of all this, we are newlyweds and spending 10 days apart sent me for a loop after three long months of nonstop work-a-thons. It's just a lot of really big life, and to be honest ...
Blog series are not my favorite thing to do. I think they’re helpful, and I know I have something to offer you, if you’re even remotely curious about how to get published. But what I’m really hoping this blog series will illustrate is what my friends and family already know about me: that while I’m a get-er-done kind of person, what I’m really the very, very best at is bringing perspective to some of the most bizarre and challenging and heart-wrenching circumstances. The tanglier the mess, the clearer I see things, believe it or not.
Anyways, I'm writing this series (and others) because I'm insistent on not leaving behind what I built and accomplished in my 20s. But I’m hopeful, so hopeful, that by offering you the very best from the last eight years in marketing, writing and publishing, that I can create something new -- something that incorporates things I desperately need to thrive, like structure, companionship, expectations. That I can give you a glimpse into a few of the professional roads I’ve traveled. And maybe something will feel right to you about how I explain things and you’ll want to reach out and want to talk one day about what you’re going through with your own book, or story, or creative thingamajig.
So, all that to say—Step 6 will be coming next week. It’s a really important step, and one that I haven’t seen other writing coaches suggesting, so I hope you’ll stay tuned. But also, if you visit my website, you’ll see that I’ve added a page for scheduling an appointment to talk about writing or publishing. I added this without really knowing where or how I would present myself as a person who can offer perspective and coach you through your book or answer more nuanced publishing questions. But this blog seems like a good enough place to start.
Thanks for reading, for being patient, and for being on my newsletter list.