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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Overextend Yourself to Build Something Durable

It has been a long time since I’ve been so busy.

Sadly, busy these days does not always translate in the same return on time invested. No longer a corporate drone, as it were, I am not exactly entitled to time and a half or even overtime pay…

On the other hand, I get to help authors put their work out into the world, and it is fun!

I love the part where I get to build these professional relationships, and my work ethic and work product gets me good word-of-mouth and new clients. That feels fan-freaking-tastic! Truthfully.

I tried to pursue an opportunity and it turns out that it probably wasn’t for me for a variety of reasons. That’s okay. Some of it was interesting and it helped to remind me that I don’t need to water-down my standards (in terms of what I want or don’t want to do for a living), and that my greatest asset is creative problem-solving. 

There isn’t a hurdle I won’t try to jump over. I will not be beaten by details! If I cannot perform a task, I am always honest about it. But that rarely means that I will accept it and leave it at that. I conquer it. I must.

Freelancing has the power to push you intellectually and you learn new skills, you adapt and move on or fall flat. But it also can exacerbate doubt especially during lean times. And this is why you must not shy away from opportunity, even if it means overextending yourself a little bit.

You will sleep little and you will be tired, but in a good way.

I haven’t been doing a lot of writing, but I just did my taxes and was so darned proud to be able to fill in royalties again on my forms. It’s not enough to buy a house in Malibu, but that was never the point!

A couple of stories remain very active in my head, as I try to make some details work. And I know I need to get back to my writing soon.

Sometimes you have to overextend yourself to build something durable. 

Sometimes focus needs to shift to other areas of operations—focus from yourself as author to authors as clients (or possibly part of your own catalogue).

Learning new tricks, that opens new pathways in the brain, and knowing you can still do that is worth the effort – not just for the financial benefits but for future reference. The one piece of rewriting that will happen soon is on the CV.

And until I can get back to my stories – writing and editing – I will have no regrets that I used my waking time to elevate my game, maintain the freelance practice running, and contribute to the world of publishing from the backend of the business. I will proofread others' stories, I will build linked table of contents, convert manuscripts to electronic formats, tweak book jackets into ebook covers, submit the books to vendors and e-commerce apps, and design the interior pages for print on demand books. It helps pay the rent and put food on the table. And anything I learn I can always use in my own writing life. 

And make no mistake, this writing life is a long-haul thing. I'm in it now. There's no way out.

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