Monday, 20 April 2009

Let it all out

I feel a bit weighed down tonight. Whether it's down to me being tired after the weekend and a long walk with the dogs today, or simply 'mind on my money / money on my mind' - I'm not sure. So excuse me while I regurgitate some thoughts.

In some ways, I feel better than I have done in ages. I'm not in what many people consider 'normal' work and now the Easter holidays have come to an end, the hand over to the new admin assistant at the Little School of Horrors done, I can finally start life as a writer. Thing is, something just doesn't feel right. I don't feel guilty about not working as I have done in the past, but then I don't actually feel like I'm working. I feel like I'm just sitting at home tapping things on a laptop and running out of money. Add that to the constant stream of people asking me "So, what are you going to do now?", not realising that I'm already doing it. They think I'm just sitting on my arse at home, too. I've had my internship for nearly 5 months now, have been doing it "full time" or should I say, available, for almost three weeks, yet I feel like I'm in the same position as I was in December. Progress? Nil.

The Writer is doing little to inspire my confidence in him. The upside to working with a successful and busy person is the immense experience I can potentially get, along with the esteem of being affiliated with someone who others think highly of. The downside is again that they're busy and therefore difficult to pin down; plans are constantly changing, deadlines need to be met, he's stressed with a million and one projects on the go. I suspect that deep down he doesn't have the time to really set up the systems and procedures necessary to make good use of an assistant, despite my numerous suggestions and offers to help. The problem is that he's been doing this job alone for over a decade and has got to the point where he's making a decent living from it, and he's recognised that an assistant could benefit two people - yet we're 5 months down the line and we still don't have the semblance of a routine. I refuse to believe that this is down to me having another job, as I've always been flexible. Sometimes, like today, where yet again I've tried to call (by arrangement) and yet again he tells me he's in the middle of something and will call me back (but hasn't) - I can't see it coming together long term.

So here's the dilemma: do I devote myself full time, but risk having weeks (like the last two) when we don't see or hardly talk to each other? Or do I get another part time job, albeit not the dreaded admin / secretarial, and always have something else getting in the way of really making a go of it?

The third option is one I'm already putting in practice, which is to set a deadline by which time if I don't feel I've made significant progress, then I'll make tracks in a different direction. At the moment that deadline is the end of July, when I want my name in print and / or my first commission. In the meantime, I'm keeping my options open.

...And trying to keep some momentum.


Grump said...

The second option is probably the best. If you are busy with your life then he will have to get you to ring him back. If you don't stay busy and focused of course you will start to feel less self esteem. So get back on your horse and when he needs you, you tell him you're ring him back just as soon as you have time.
Woof x

Brennig said...

You need a drop-dead target date. Unless you're content to live in a cardboard box if progress eludes you?

kyknoord said...

When in doubt, go with your instinct. That way, if it's the wrong decision, you can blame your subconscious. It takes the pressure off.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Grump - I think I will get a part time job on the side. Just to keep me going.

Brennig - Argh, I know. I need a definite date. I need some plans. I'm going to speak to him tomorrow and get some firm answers to my endless stream of questions.

knknoord - My instinct is changing on a daily basis. You're right to say trust it, it's worked for me in the past.

mspuddin said...

First of all, who cares what other people think. Second, I think you should get a side gig. LOL totally just contradicted myself, but whatever, that's what I think. I'm a writer and if you're passionate enough you will find the time to do both, right?

Anonymous said...

I think very few writers are in a position to be able to write full time by your tender age, and that you should get a part time job, and agree with mspuddin that if you want to you'll manage both, and think setting yourself a deadline to be in print is a bit silly because it might take ages to get your big break.

I'm not really anon, it's Homer, but it won't let me leave a name.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

mspuddin - You are correct. There's nothing stopping me getting a little side job to keep me ticking over. A back up option, if you will. Thanks for adviceo.

Homer - I like your comment, it makes a lot of sense. Especially the reality check that really, I'm only 24 and am just starting out. Maybe a deadline is a bit ambitious. However, I've now made my feelings known to Mr Writer, and explained that it's important to me that I get my name in print. At the moment I feel I have nothing to show, but at least now I'm assured that he wants to help me get there.


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