This ain't my first rodeo. Let's start there.
I worked for myself full-time back in 2017 — though my approach to self-employment back then was totally different. For one thing, I was fresh out of a marriage that had left me feeling a lot like a wadded-up, shit-stained piece of half-dissolved toilet paper. Which meant: I wasn't focusing on writing at all and was, instead, in recovery mode.
This year, I'm (thankfully) not in recovery mode.
This year, I'm attempting to bolster my career as an author *as well as* an editor, simultaneously, and you know what? It's fucking awesome. I now truly understand the phrase "live your truth," as that's precisely what I am doing.
However, it's not always easy — and sometimes, it's even pretty scary.
There's a reason why you can't get a loan as a freelancer, and why you'll never be able to secure a mortgage or lease agreement with one: "unreliable income" is the name of the game for those of us who're self-employed. It's a necessary evil, coming hand-in-hand with the thing we all truly covet most vocationally . . .
In some ways, self-employment feels like making a deal with the devil himself. You want to wake up every day without an alarm clock? Structure your work days however the hell you see fit? Work for twelve hours, or take the day off without consequence? Hell, take a MONTH off without your employer firing you over it?
Well, you can. But you'll never have a guaranteed paycheck again. You'll have months of earning more money than you ever dared dream, and months marked by dry-spells where no matter the amount of self-promotion you shamelessly pump into your social media feeds, NOBODY needs the services you're offering.
Which is why I can't wait to offer services at all (as much as I truly adore editing, writing full-time is the ultimate goal, right?). Now, I swear I'm not throwing shade here, but I see a lot of authors these days whose job isn't necessarily writing — it's content creation. I see them divest an insane amount of time into "building their platform," and while that's undoubtedly important, that goal needs an end-point or else it'll never end, right?
My point here is this: I don't want to fall into that trap. I don't ever want to feel like I'm a dancing monkey for my social media followers, frantically pumping out content in order to keep the ones I've got happy and to hopefully lock in a few new ones.
Right now, I've got a great platform. Would I love a million followers, all frothing at the mouth with excitement over purchasing my next title? Yes, that'd be great, lol. But I'm not going to fight day in and out for that following — I'd much rather dedicate that time to writing and publishing, and allow that following to grow organically. Even if it's sometimes terrifying. Even if a dry-spell is a part of this system, a given. Even if it means exercising patience.
Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud here. What're your thoughts?
As a side note: I suppose all of this is perfectly timed for all this "social distancing" right now!