Friday, May 16, 2014

Risky Business

This photo is not really relevant, but isn't Calvin the cutest?

A lot can happen in a week.

Take, for example, this past one. After graduating on Saturday and spending the day at the beach, the rest of the weekend (and most of Monday) was spent similarly. Hanging out with friends. Playing volleyball. Realizing our hive was missing a queen and putting in a rush order for a new one (more on that soon). On Tuesday night, Nathan and I hosted a going-away cookout for N and J, fellow graduates who left Wilmington on Wednesday, breaking my heart cleanly in two. I finally started chipping away at my backlog of Glee episodes (I nearly gave up on that show, but then they moved it to NYC and now I sort of like it again). Last night, we went to a friend's book release party at the fanciest hipster bar in town, where I drank wine, went out to dinner with a bunch of people, and watched as my post-MFA social life began to take shape. All in all a busy, eventful, emotional, and interesting week. 

And that doesn't even take into account that I've basically been working full time. 

Yes, that's right. Working. Full time. For actual money. 

Last week I had a moment of panic. I got an email from Sallie Mae stating that my student loans from undergrad would come out of deferment sooner than I anticipated, and the numbers weren't pretty. I worried that I had too much debt to attempt to be a freelance writer. I applied for a job at a yoga studio in a fit of desperation, basic receptionist stuff, and got an interview almost immediately. The job was 20 hours a week, and in a really cool office, but it didn't have anything to do with writing. It would make the hustle aspect of freelance nearly impossible - when would I have time to hunt down new jobs and follow leads? Then again, it would be a paycheck every week, no matter what, a certainty and steadiness that freelance lacks. 

I cancelled the interview. It's too early to tell if that was a mistake, but so far I feel good about my decision. 

It all comes back to Risk, my theme for 2014. Taking the receptionist job would have been safe, easy. It's what Past Chrissy would have done. But I didn't uproot my life and quit my steady job and get an MFA, of all degrees, so I could go right back to where I started. I wanted to change my life irrevocably. And if that's going to happen, I need to give freelance a fair chance and go all in. It's a little scary and it makes me nervous and I'm calling Sallie Mae really soon and asking for a few extra months, pretty pretty please. But  despite all that, it's what I want to do. So I'm doing it.  

Today, I have to go to two different offices. At the first office, I'll research and write articles for a blog about alcohol that will launch next week (more about that then). At the second office, I'll assist a local woman with her marketing business, drafting newsletters and brainstorming ideas for blog posts. And then I'll come home, unplug, and hopefully not thinking about writing, the Internet, or freelance for at least 24 hours. 

Oh, and next week I am absolutely getting back to my novel. Because freelance is great, and blogging is fun, but there's only one way I'll get this book sent off at the end of the summer, and that's by doing the work.  

PS - my employment history (which needs to be updated!), the "do what you love" debate, and the best job I ever had.

1 comment:

  1. First, congratulations on the paid writing-related gigs! That is awesome. Second, yes, yes, a thousand times yes to your thoughts on making it as a freelancer. I'm dealing with the same set of conflicts (regular paycheck vs. not compromising on what I REALLY want to spend my time doing), and it's hard. I've already compromised this semester by taking my current lab job. But should I be applying for other jobs in anticipation of our move to Austin? Or should I focus my efforts on tutoring so I can be the best damn tutor in my subject areas by the time the fall semester starts?

    Oh, and I'm thinking of upping my game as a blogger and trying to become more professional, either to make money through ads or to use as a platform for writing. Gah, so much to think about...let's go get a drink and be silly instead :-P

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