UPDATE: My Life in a Nut Shell

Well, looks like I left everyone on a bit of a cliffhanger way back in November. Oops. My bad guys!

I “won” NaNoWriMo, in the sense that I wrote 50K in 30 days. In fact, I wrote 26K of that in the last three days of the month, but that’s neither here nor there.

SO MUCH MORE HAS HAPPENED!

Remember in September when I told you about my Part-Time status? And back in March when I talked about how I was trying to keep myself organized while working full time and completing freelance projects on the side?? Well, this update is an extension of those posts. It’s a step forward. A movement in the “right” direction. It’s a scary, exciting, tumultuous and frightening time in my life, because my friends…

I’ve gone full freelance.

*does happy dance*

In the month and a bit since I started, I’ve picked up two little nuggets of wisdom that I’d like to share with everyone, especially anyone who’s trying to change their life in a drastic way:

Take it One Thing At A Time

The first week of my full freelance status, I was freaking out. I kept thinking of the infinite amount of things I hadn’t sorted out before I went full freelance, and all of the things I’d said I’d do when I was full freelance. In no specific order, the things I stressed about the first week were:

  • Health Insurance
  • The unfinished projects at my previous job
  • Adding workouts to my morning routine
  • Adding “work on my NaNo Novel” to my daily schedule
  • Adding more clients to my client list
  • Going for coffee with friends I haven’t seen in ages
  • Having evenings and weekends to myself again for the first time in years

Here’s what I actually did that week:

  • Sorted out my freelance status with my previous job
  • Slept in
  • Stressed
  • Played Minecraft (oh yeah, I do that now…)

By the second week, the above stresses were calmed, but they were followed immediately by the financial freakout and guilt that I hadn’t done any of the things I’d said I wanted to do. By the third week, I’d found a nice schedule that wasn’t perfect, but would work as a building block. Now, on week five (six?), my goal is to keep to that less-than-perfect schedule, then gradually add more… ease myself into this new life.

So, if you’re planning a big life change, don’t expect to make everything you want to happen, happen at once. You’ve got to ease into it. Get yourself adjusted to the big change, then add one new, smaller change to your schedule. Then another. Eventually you’ll get there – after all, “there” is where you want to be!

Financial Security is not the same thing as Success

I said the above to a friend of mine (who has been freelance for a year) because:

  1. It’s true and
  2. I needed to hear it, too.

Financial Security and Success generally go hand in hand, which is why a lot of people consider them one and the same thing. But frankly, they’re not.

Success = the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
Financial Security = having the resources to support a standard of living now and in the foreseeable future

My ultimate goal is to become a freelance writer and editor. I’m there. I have succeeded. Being a successful writer is not going to make me rich. It might not even give me the resources to support a standard of living now and in the foreseeable future. This is something I’ll deal with when I run out of money (which hopefully won’t be soon… hopefully *crosses fingers*).

The biggest problem that I think I’ll run into, that other freelancers I’ve spoken to have mentioned, is that “others” will try to tell me that I should get a job of some sort to cover the bills. They’ll worry about my finances for me. But, here’s the kicker: for the first time in my life, I can honestly say I am in the career that I love, and I love doing what I do.

I also have contingency plans …. seriously, I’ve thought all of this out more than you could ever know. I’ve totally got this!

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