Something’s gotta give, right? To create enough space in my life to try this writing thing, I gave up a pretty big director-level corporate job. That was a scary decision for me. I've been working full-time since I graduated from college 763 years ago. I define myself by my career. I got a pointy-headed advanced degree for my career. For a few years, I traveled 5 days a week for my career. I postponed kids until I only had two ancient eggs left because of my career.
My husband, Galahad (shockingly, not his real name), and I had lots of discussions about this. We have been married for over 25 years. Since we were DINKs for 13 years before we procreated, our finances are in pretty good shape. The house and cars are paid for and we carry no debt. Galahad has a good job with a large tech company. It’s all roses, right? Why in the hell am I even worried? I should be sitting on a couch with nubile beauties fanning me and offering me peeled grapes.
Except … there’s that retirement thing. Those savings were a little delayed when we took care of my mom for several years. And we'd like to be able to afford some semi-swanky vacations. And we probably should be saving for our boys' college tuitions.
[Frowns deeply while thinking] Maybe giving up all income and writing for fun isn’t really going to work for me. It’s probably too much to ask. I want the freedom to write while still having an income stream. I know! Maybe I can freelance. I can make more money contracting than I did in my full-time job. Theoretically, I could work fewer hours and still have a good income, right?
[Taps chin, still thinking] I’ll have to find folks who want to pay for my services. And I’ll have to negotiate my high rate with them and assure them that I’m the best in the business and very experienced - but not too old - to give them satisfaction. That they will feel lots better after hiring me and won’t regret letting go of their hard won coin.
Unfortunately, finding one benefactor who wants to pay for me over and over again isn’t all that likely. I’ll probably need to find several benefactors and go through the haggling, uh … negotiation, process each time. But, if I don’t give 100% satisfaction to each client, one might mention it to another, and then my business is sunk.
[Brightens considerably] On the other hand, I might become wildly popular. I’ll be making money hand over fist. [Smirks] In fact, I will be making so much doing my freelancing that I haven’t really saved myself any time. [Goes back to frowning] I might be seduced by the lucrative lucre. [Light bulb flashes over head. Ah! That’s where that term came from!]
Is freelancing worth it? Well, part of the equation is deciding how passionate I am about my clients and my work with them. If I hate it, I should get out of that business altogether. If I do, is it possible to make some dough/green/bank/gravy by writing? That definitely remains to be seen. I do know that it’s a long-shot.
The other part of the equation is how much I love writing fiction and blogging and creating videos. So far? Pretty freakin' much. I feel like I've rolled away a boulder in my brain to reveal my Cave of Creativity (we all have one, you know.) My cave is a bit dim and super dusty [Squints and coughs], but it has untold treasures waiting to be discovered. [Rubs hands together gleefully]
So – I’m reviewing the situation. I'll keep you posted. [Now has to listen to earworm for the rest of the day - you're welcome]