NoodlingsShared joy & pain

Times They are A’Changing (Blog News)

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Ready to take on the world (me at about 3 years old)

I got a job offer this morning, which I have accepted, so starting next Monday I will be working a ‘day job’ again. Don’t Worry. This doesn’t mean I’m abandoning blogging. It does, however, mean that I will be cutting back on the number of posts I do per week, especially book review posts, since each of those requires not only that I have to write, but that I have to read an entire book, first.

So the mix will probably change around here. More short personal tale posts, less book reviews. Knitting will probably stay about the same, and so will ‘happiness’ (self-help) posts. More personal poetry, story, and writing, too, I hope.

This is a new phase in my life in more than one way. For the first time in several years, I’ve accepted ‘just a job’, rather than ‘an advancement’. It was a conscious decision. I am a good supervisor, and I could get another supervisory job, but my family has commented that I am difficult to live with when I am working a supervisory job, because the challenges of supervision bother me in a way that the challenges of providing mental health care don’t.

Instead of focusing on a ‘day job’ that taxes me to the tail end of my abilities, this new job leaves mental and emotional energy for my family and for my other love, writing, the love that I left at the altar some twenty years ago and am just now starting to court again. I go to work, meet with my therapy clients, and go home. Easy peasy.

I find this is a better balance for my life. I talk about happiness, I talk about contentedness, and both of those things are things I have to continually work on and remain conscious of. When I post lists of things to try, it is because some of those things have worked for me. When I tell anecdotes of my adventures in life, it is to help you get past the roadblocks that stymied or frustrated me. When I share my triumphs with you, it is to inspire you and give you hope.

I will have more time and energy to devote to the things I enjoy, oddly enough, working forty hours a week at a paid job, than I have these last six months getting this blog up and running. Why? Because every single day that I have worked on this blog, the subtext ‘or else’ has hung over me.

I have to make money with this blog ‘or else’ my family will struggle this winter without heat in half the house (not an exaggeration).

I have to be successful with this blog ‘or else’ the time I’ve spent without a day job was ‘wasted’.

I have to get 10,000 Twitter followers (almost there, actually) ‘or else’ I’ll never have a broad enough platform to really build my blogs.

And so on. Ad nauseum.

Now I can write only the best posts, the ones that really matter, because it isn’t about the money at all any more, it’s about the message, the joy, the fun of writing, especially in this blogging medium that I so love.

Now I no longer have to make compromises, accept paid posts I might be on the fence about because I need the money. Since I do book reviews, the notice down there at the bottom of the post is staying there (authors keep sending me books. It’s the funniest thing!), but now I can be much pickier.

Now I can keep building, but more slowly, without panic whipping me from my hind brain, demanding that I fix it right now.  Now I can relax quantity and focus more (even more) on quality.

Now I can work on the novel(s) with the assurance that I can work on my craft first and saleability second, rather than the other way around.  And now I don’t have a deadline that feels like a guillotine.

Now I can blog for blogging’s sake, and write for writing’s sake, and relax and enjoy the process, instead of worrying about the result.  I can return to the zen ‘beginners mind’ that I am more comfortable inhabiting.

Now I can spend both the time and money to ‘do it right’ – get a domain, create a ‘master’ webpage, and give you a choice of subject feeds so that you are paying attention to what you like, not having to filter what I like to find your favorites.  I can (ironically) do more to make this a professional blog now that I don’t have to.

It’s a new chapter, perhaps a new act, in my life. The third act, I think, in a five act play – there is drama yet to come, but all the characters are well established and the end is beginning to shape into something recognizable.

I can see the curve of my life ending at a place where I do indeed write for a living – but this is the preparatory time for that place, not the place itself. A happy place. I’m glad to be here. Come join me for the rest of the performance.


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