Freelance Talk 1/26/19

I distinctly recall predicting that Week 3 would be easier than Week 2.

Well I was a little very wrong.

There was some good news! Work for money is going steady, so I have that excellent safety net while I work on the other aspects of this new career. On paper, I have no reason to be worrying and wringing my hands all the time; I have steady income, plenty of time to work and look for contacts and bolster my writing ability.

But in reality, I find myself panicking over the prospect of failure or of mediocrity. The web serial is getting traffic slowly, but that’s to be expected for a complete nobody posting something for the first time. This blog is actually getting better traffic, which is interesting. I’d have guessed the reverse a couple of weeks ago. And I’m getting the earliest iterations of a space opera epic and a few short stories for submission to websites and magazines onto a word document instead of soaking in my head.

And for all that the constant pressure that this might be a bad idea or I might never get noticed by anyone is very… time-consuming.

On the surface everything is going well. So why I do have the nagging sense that it’s all about to crash down around my ears?

I don’t have a solid answer. Still, I figure if there’s anyone out there in a similar boat, maybe reading about my experience or sharing it will yield some greater insight. And, to be honest, getting this out into the internet, just a drop in the digital ocean, makes it feel more manageable.

For my part, I think the newfound freedom can be a bit suffocating. It’s heavy. My success or failure is entirely dictated by me and my luck. That’s a big bite to chew off for anyone. When you work for a company, I think that, subconsciously, some of the responsibility for your life’s events can be shared with your employer, whether you realize it or not. A bad day at work is just a bad day at work, not a failure to accomplish your personal goals.

And I think that the idea that all of this effort has to be expended without any real justification or signs of progress until some abstract tipping point (when you “make” it) is a hard thing to base your confidence on. I have no “real” evidence that my writing is any good. I have no actual good reason for doing all this in the face of other paths to success and happiness. All I’ve got is my hare-brained plan and some risky hope. And let me tell you that it feels like that hope dries up faster than it regenerates.

So I’ve got the discipline and schedule I set up. I think it was a good thing I made a schedule at all in hindsight, even if I don’t stick to it one hundred percent of the time. Structure in the day is more important than I gave it credit for, at least for my personal happiness. I’ll see this life-experiment through, I suppose, even if some weeks I lose sight of why I attempted this endeavor in the first place.

For writing, right? I like to do it. I want to be known for it, even on a small scale. I don’t care about being famous, just being happy to do my work instead of watching the clock until the weekend.

And the best way to become known for my writing is to write a galactic fuck-ton. And the best way to do that is to have the time and mental energy to write a galactic fuck-ton. And I can’t have both of those things if I work a job that I hate. So I need to have a job or a way to make money that leaves both time and energy to…

There it is.

Well. Week Four of Freelancing, see you in a few days.

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