I always told myself that if I had the opportunity to just stay home and write I would do it. I would write so much damn fiction that sure I would be able to see a significant increase in my income. Surely, I would start making enough money to support myself. Because I was going to write all the words!
When I first got laid off I made a goal to write 100,000 words in two weeks. Ya, I’m kind of laughing at that now. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’ve never consistently written that many words on a daily basis before. I have no clue what made me think that I could do it this time.
I did great for a couple days. I even wrote 8,000 words one day. But by the end of the fourth day I was already looking for excuses not to write.
Tomorrow will be two months since I’ve stayed at home and I still don’t have my shit together.
Don’t get me wrong. I have written more in the past two months that I have ever written in fiction in a similar time period. But damn — it is no where near enough.
And it’s not just the writing. There were so many things I was going to do. Launch a web site (ok, I built the web site, but it’s kind of just sitting there not really getting many views). Write on Medium every day (I’ve done a lot but not every day). Do some house renos (I did manage to paint a bedframe — but it’s still sitting on my deck waiting to be installed).
Ok — I have had some days that were very productive. But I seem to start slacking off after a few days and go back to my bad habits of mindlessly scrolling Facebook or Twitter or chatting on Messenger for hours at a time. And binging Netflix. And I added Amazon Prime to that.
Oh — and lets not even talk about the ridiculous amounts of money I have spent. Ow. It hurts to think about it. Beside the fact that I’ve maxed out one credit card and started working on the other one, I’ve spent from my savings. I’ve bought loads of stuff from Amazon, Pink Cherry, Thirty-One, and Just Strong. I estimate that I’ve spent about $5000 more than I’ve made.
I’ve reorganized my desk and done a lot of planner stuff — you know, making lists and that kind of thing. I’ve done a lot of journaling about all the things that I want and need to do. I’ve made plans out the ying yang.
But I do not have my shit together. Not even one little bit.
I feel like a total failure. All this time wasted.
My plan was to not go back to work. I was not going to go back to work because I was going to get my shit together and write all the words! But now I have to. Because I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money and I haven’t earned enough. I’ve increased my debt and decreased my savings.
The question is…
What Am I Going To Do About It?
Firstly, I am going to suck it up and take my ass back to work and hustle around those tables and be nice and make the tips. While I often consider doing another job, in a small town, there are very few jobs that don’t involve physical labor that pay decent. There are retail stores (minimum wage), office jobs (a little above minimum wage), and waitressing. Serving tables allows me to earn almost twice as much as other jobs. So, yes, I’m going back to work.
I’m tempted to keep it to three days a week. At first it likely won’t be that many days anyway because they will be working with less staff than they would if they could seat a full capacity restaurant. When the dining room opens again, we’ll only allow to have a 50% seating capacity. I think three days will be all I get anyway. Hopefully, I can get 8 hour days on the days I work.
Second, I have GOT to stop spending. There are a few things that will go through on my credit card automatically but I’ve got to stop using it. And I’ve got to stop using my savings.
The third thing I have to do is find some way to be productive. Nothing I have done has worked so far so I need to try something new. The thing is, I did stay home and write for five years. And somehow, I managed to pay all the bills. What was I doing then that worked?
I wish I could figure that out. The only thing that I can think of was that my husband was still alive and was working beside me in the office. But I can’t change that. So…maybe I need to leave the house to work? I don’t know. There are little options for that in the small town I live in. We have a library but it’s only open 2 days a week. There’s a tiny restaurant but it’s not the go sit there all day and write kind of place. There’s a bar — but I can’t see a bar as a productive place to write.
The only thing I can think of is that I need to establish a routine. Every successful freelancer/author that I have read about has a routine.
All I know is that I have to figure out something because I sure as hell do not want to be that 65 year old waitress that everyone is waiting on to retire. There’s actually been several people like that at my job. A cook and a waitress and a waitress that was “only going to work for 6 months.” The one that was only there for 6 months did finally quit. The waitress was 67 when she finally retired and she only did it because her doctor said she had to. The cook? She’s 78 and just quit this past winter because her doctor told her she had to. Everyone looked at them like they were just sad old people that had to work. And a lot of the time they were miserable about being at work and towards other people.
I will not be that person.
I will not be that person.
I will not be that person.