As surely as the temperatures have dropped, it’s time for another check-in (or would that be check-up?) regarding my quest to combine passion-driven work and a sustainable income.
In a nutshell, here’s my news: lots of movement, little progress.
Since moving back to Colorado over Memorial Day weekend, I have found and left a resume-writing job, then taken a few, halting steps toward a freelance writing business of my own. I applied for a part-time position as editor of a science education journal. I’ve contracted for some social commenting work with Alpine Valley School, where I also volunteer twelve hours per week. (By “social commenting,” I mean looking for local online articles where I can join comment threads and mention the school.)
More recently, I made a great connection with James Marcus Bach, author of Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar, about which I blogged a couple weeks ago. And I just created a new Google group to solicit input, feedback, and overall brainstorming help for taking my ideas for CASE off the drawing board and into the real (or at least, the virtual) world.
On the personal front, I’ve found a good rhythm with school days and work-from-home days. I’m very glad to be singing with Ars Nova once again, and I love running along the Clear Creek greenbelt three or four days a week. Although I’ve yet to find a new sangha, I’ve been sitting zazen on my own nearly every day. And, wonder of wonders, there’s even been amazing progress on the relationship front these past few weeks.
So things aren’t bad at all…except for my cash flow, which remains decidedly negative.
As much as I’ve minimized my expenses, I’m still bringing in far less money than I’m spending. Frustratingly, I can scarcely even tell when I’m wasting time and when I’m being productive. That is, the nature of my work these days means a lot of brainstorming and networking, and so things like emails and phone calls—even this blog, or that quintessential time-suck, Facebook—could either constitute goofing off or an investment in my long-term future…or both, I suppose. Point is, the amount of time I can go without meeting my current expenses is limited, and I’m not at all convinced I can tread financial water long enough to find my way to land, a boat, or a spot shallow enough for me to stand.
Once I make a bit more progress on CASE—hopefully within the next couple weeks—I’ll be in a better position to appeal for donors and/or leads to funding sources. For now, I’ll keep asking for your ideas on paid writing/editing jobs. And I’ll keep blogging when I can, because…well, because writing is what I do; because even when I don’t know what I should be doing to further my career, I know I will always be a writer.