Hanging on and Screaming My Fool Head Off
Life is definitely a roller coaster ride. The last year or two has felt like I’ve been in a terrifying free fall. But, in the long straight section at the bottom, I began to make plans and adjustments to avoid a big crash.
So, during the last few months of the year, what little free time I had was spent either taking online courses or applying for jobs on Upwork. It was tedious and demoralizing. One job paid all of a dollar. Another paid a whopping $10 ($8 after Upwork gets its cut), but I spent so much time on the job it probably brought my pay to .50 an hour. This is the price you must pay on a site like Upwork, where you must develop a reputation before anyone is willing to pay a decent rate. Nevertheless, I pushed ahead, knowing I had to pay my dues to get where I wanted to go. It didn’t seem like I would probably have much financial success in the first year, so it seemed best to put my nose to the grindstone and muscle through.
In the meantime, I talked about my business venture to anyone who would listen. I called the local university writing center, emailed the local writer’s guild, and mentioned it to friends, acquaintances, and clients. One of those conversations led to me being hired on a small team of writers and editors, rewriting and republishing a self-help book. This project will last through the summer. Suddenly I wasn’t scrounging for .50-an-hour jobs; I had a real gig.
As I got to know the team leader better, I realized she was successfully doing exactly what I hoped to do. My whole life, I have craved a mentor. I have the skills but lack the confidence and know-how to move forward. Despite being told throughout my life that I am a talented writer, I have permanent failure to launch issues. That is something a mentor could help me with. Our team leader was someone I clicked with and who had the skills I needed. So I summoned my courage and asked her to be my mentor. She quickly agreed, and suddenly I have someone in my corner who can help me through this confusing maze.
So after a year or so of struggling with finances, trying to find a path forward, and barely maintaining any hope things would ever get better, the needed changes are finally falling into place. Besides the book, I have smaller jobs with blogs and a podcast. With any luck, the current work will lead to more work, and my business will be off and running. Today I filed the articles of organization with the Secretary of State for my new LLC. Tomorrow I will get the EIN and register my business with the state. It feels momentous. It feels freeing.
Whoo, doggie, this section of my roller coaster ride has had some rapid elevation changes. Although I am now climbing, inching up slowly with clickety clacks along the way, I need to remember there will likely be a drop ahead, and I need to hang on. The wild ride isn’t over yet. Not until they put me in the ground.