Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Fitting It In
So, it’s that time again… time to account for my Koala Challenge pointage for the month of January. I managed three…
I did the introduction comment at McKoala’s blog for 1 point. It was really kind of a freebie, but whatever, it’s mine, all mine!
I managed to finish and submit one regional parenting magazine article for 1 point.
And I managed to write, edit, gather critiques on, and re-edit the pitch for my query letter for 1 point.
I did write a bit of new fiction, but not enough for the point.
Normally, I’m really annoyed with myself when I do that little in a whole month. But when I sat down to look at where I was spending my time, it couldn’t be helped. I have literally spent no less than 30 hours each week looking through job postings, writing, re-writing and tweaking cover letters, submitting them to various companies, and filling out online employment applications. Outside of all that, I’ve been working through a temp service when they can get me office positions. I’m hoping one of those turns into a permanent position, or maybe one of my resumes/interviews lands me one. Oh, yeah, and then there’s the whole full-time parenting of three children, heading up the Band Contest Committee for the event coming up in a few weeks (which meant finding and scheduling 33 volunteers), and rebuilding my house with limited (read as no) funds. It is what it is. I need a regular, stable income. My kids need to be fed, taken care of, and watched over. And there’s only so much time in a day… I’ve tried to change that last one, but it’s not going over so well.
I’ve actually been looking for a job, off and on, for the past two years or so. It wasn’t so imperative then, I could make do with a little extra money freelance writing here and there, and budget out things at the time. But a number of people have said things along the lines of, “Oh, well what you really need is a creative writing position. You wouldn’t be happy in just any job.” Meaning that I wouldn’t be happy in office work, I’d guess, as that’s primarily what I’m looking for… it always strikes me as odd how people categorize you. First of all, those comments are almost always made from the standpoint of someone who’s never had something shut off because they couldn’t pay a bill. Seriously, any job is a good job if you enjoy it, work hard at it, and it allows you to live.
And, oddly enough, I like secretarial work. I do. I think the skills I’ve developed writing all translate awesomely to running or helping to run an office. Does that mean I’ll stop writing when I find a full time job? No. I won’t stop breathing, either. There are plenty of writers out there who are brilliant at what they do on the page, but it won’t pay the mortgage. I also tend to think that a career outside of writing gives you more experience and self to speak from when you do sit down at the keyboard. The trick is fitting it all in.
So how do you do it? Do you write full time or outside of your regular career and family obligations?