I just found out today that I won’t be starting my new job for another three weeks. There was a little complication because I moved here from a small county that is very slow to process things, so the new job is waiting for the background check to come back from said county and say “no, she was never arrested here.” Well, I’ve never been arrested so I’m not worried about that, it’s just going to take a little longer.
So I have three weeks home…waiting. And Gregg, the helpful person that he is, said “No, you have three weeks to write. Prove to yourself you can do this full time.”
You know how some things look good on paper, but then you actually attempt them and things don’t quite look the same as you thought they would? That’s what I went through today. But the thing that looks different isn’t something I had considered before.
First of all, Gregg is absolutely right. I have three weeks to write my heart out and prove to myself that I can do the writing part of being an author. Finishing things, and getting the ready to edit. In three weeks with nothing but writing to do I should be able to double my words. Right? And I know, it doesn’t actually work like that, but if I never try I’ll never improve.
Second, I have the story. I have the plot. I have the characters. That’s not a problem, and I’ve written more on this story than I have on previous ones, so there is president here.
Third, my phone is broken. With no job, and no phone to distract me I should have more time… SHOULD.
And oddly it isn’t the idea of writing, finishing story lines, or producing books that has me worried. I know I can do that, and I’m fairly confident I can do it faster if I just put my nose to the grindstone and do it.
No, what worries me is the pay. Since my divorce I’ve been the person who paid the bills. Rent, electric, water, etc. All the bills are in my name, and I am responsible for them. In the last couple of years Gregg moved in, and he’s helped considerably by paying for groceries, getting gas, tires, and giving me money for rent. But I pay the majority of the bills in the house. We both also set aside savings toward our eventual house, but the bills are mine.
I have preferred it this way. A large hardship in my marriage was related to finances, I had no control over it then. He made the money while I was a stay home mom, so I had no say over anything. Part of my worries that if I let myself get into a situation where a man is paying my bills again I will lose control and end up broke… again. Never mind that this is false logic since Gregg is incredibly smart with money, and we both have nest eggs in case something ever happened. Logic has nothing to do with it. My brain has been programmed to worry about giving up control like that, and yet here I am.
I’m sure I’ll eventually make money from the books I write. I already make a little. I just don’t know how long it will be before I make enough to sustain a household, so the idea of giving up a steady job with good pay and benefits just doesn’t make me comfortable.
It’s a mindset shift. If I ever want to make it as an author and stop working for someone else then I have to buy into the idea that it’s possible. That I don’t need a corporation to pay my bills. Which is crazy since I’ve been saying for years that people who can’t find a job should make a job. Saying it and jumping off into the deep end to do it is two different things though.
I’ll be going back to my regularly scheduled pay checks. I’m not ready to give them up yet. But maybe Gregg is right, and this is my opportunity to give it a go, even if it’s just for three weeks.
I can relate. I was laid up with a physical injury and couldn’t work for six months shortly after I married. My husband handled all the bills. It was terrifying to me, even though he didn’t mind one bit. Moments like these are uncomfortable gifts.
Exactly. The very fact that I can rely on him to help me with bills for a little while is an incredible gift. And learning to believe in myself is a nice change too.