Sunday, February 23, 2014

Walking in someone else's shoes

A fellow Mum came to visit yesterday. She’s got her hands full with four children and has decided that I have the perfect job. I work from home. I sometimes give lessons and performance work. It sounds like fun. She thought freelance writing would be great she could fit it in around the kids.

Surprise number one was that I was tapping away when she came round. 

Surprise number two was the white board, with my list of jobs and deadlines.

‘But you don’t HAVE TO work school holidays do you?’ she asked.
‘Of course not, but I do. In fact, I write every day.’

I actually don't think I am alone in this way of thinking. Can anyone who runs their own business truly switch off when they go on holiday or at weekends; those who do are an exceedingly rare breed. For the majority of individuals who have set up and grown their own business, work and life are joined at the hip, they cannot be separated.

And then surprise number three.

‘So you have to go out and look for work? Can’t you just put a website up, and wait for people to call you?’
Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I have some lovely delicious ideas for books in the 5 to 8 and 9 to 12 year old age bracket. My fingers are just itching to start a new project. And that’s the problem. I love starting a project. But lots of projects on the go may be a fun way to spend my time, but not a profitable one.

Everyday, I write, and I love it. Then I have to edit, which I hate. While I’m on a project, I also have to be pitching for the next piece of work. Today I was posted a list of requested changes to an educational resource I finished seven months ago. It’s been out to peer review, and now it’s back to me for changes. I also have preparation for my writing group to do.

It’s a matter of breaking down tasks. Completing tasks you have started pitching for new work and starting on new ideas.
I think the key is when you make the decision to make it your job, put in the hours and make deadlines.
My friend has decided to look for a part time job in a library.

I actually think she would make a great writer. I think she should start writing. But not in the hope for rich rewards. The J K Rowlings of this world make the newspapers because it is very rare to get that level of success. 

I would recommend that before anyone starts on any change of profession you look behind the scenes. Ask people in the know. I dearly hope I didn’t discourage my friend. I am certain that if this was a path she really wanted I would be unable to discourage her. I guess the point I’m trying to make, is the age old saying of walking in someone else’s shoes. 

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