I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks but I have a good excuse! I actually got hired for a two week ghostwriting project. When I haven’t been writing, I’ve been relishing the feeling of getting paid for writing.
It may only be a small step forward, but it is one step. I’m hoping that this opportunity opens a few doors. Because when I haven’t been writing and being inordinately pleased with myself, I’ve been freaking out about the unsustainable nature of my current work.
Sure, I’ve self-published a few stories on Amazon and have achieved some success (in that I get about 1 purchase a day and have earned a grand total of about $40). Sure, I got a writing contract and will get paid enough that I won’t starve this month.
But any of my efforts to find a job “on the ground,” as it were, have amounted to nothing. Living in a new city as an introvert makes it very difficult to make the necessary connections and contacts that can secure a job.
Despite applying for dozens of jobs that I was well-qualified for (and some that I wasn’t qualified for at all but was desperate enough to attempt), I have received nothing but “no,” “no, we already filled that position,” “no, you’re not moving onto the next round of interviews,” “no, we actually don’t have the position that you applied for at this location despite the fact that our website claims we do,” or complete and total silence.
It’s hard not to get discouraged. Hard not to feel a diminishing sense of self-worth.
And of course, a lack of self-worth is hard to manage when you’re a writer who absolutely has to maintain a certain level of confidence in your work, or else risk existential crises/abject despair/self-fulfilled unemployment because when you doubt your abilities, your work suffers, you stop reaching for good jobs, and you settle for less money than you’re actually worth (because you no longer think you’re worth it).
So yesterday was a day of both editing and melancholy. I’m constantly questioning how best to spend my time: am I wasting time by applying to these part-time jobs? Have I been given a rare opportunity to spend my summer (and my savings) focusing only on my creative work?
Is this my own version of a writing retreat, and am I squandering this opportunity by pursuing other options? Because if I write now, my options for the future are much improved.
But can I also JUSTIFY spending time on creative projects when there is no guarantee anything will come of it? What project should I focus on? Should I go with what is most marketable or what I am most passionate about? And can I do it with a level head, despite the fact that I am earning very little income?
I finally arrived at the realization that it doesn’t matter what decision I make as long as I make one. No sense in wasting time deciding what the best option is. I probably won’t discover the best option until I spend more time exploring the ones I have.
So, going forward, I think my biggest goal is just to start making firm choices. It doesn’t much matter what those choices are, as long as they are productive and fulfilling.
I need to keep moving forward without making judgment calls or stressing about the unknown. Do what feels right in the moment and the rest will follow.