It’s a new start today
Time to catch you up on the last few months….
You can say I have given this writing business my best shot. For almost two years I’ve been working on my craft almost daily. This has happened due to making a conscious decision and on 4th July 2008 I stopped running my company from offices and slimmed down the business to become a freelancer from home. This gave me both the freedom and time to write seriously. I’ve had a lifelong goal to retire early and start writing; it just came a little early.
My working days went from up to 18 hours to a compact 4-5 hours and only during weekdays. After 4 years of building the business, I come up for air and wondered where my social life went so I booked my flight to New York to retrieve said life and learn to write too. In New York, I developed the perfect life; taking care of any business in the mornings and writing or attending writing school in the afternoons, meeting with lovely new friends in the week and the boyfriend at the weekends.
This blissful ideal lasted for 5 months until I came back to sell-up and give away most of my beautiful, hard-earned belongings, including my beloved car, to be compensated by my new lifestyle plan to spend more time in NYC than England. I’d shipped what was left very expensively to NYC only to be told America no longer wanted me so I have been stuck in limbo in the UK ever since (I did not break any law).
Even without all my worldly goods, new friends and boyfriend, I have been trying to capture my NYC writing life in the UK but it’s not the same. In addition, business is obviously a lot less buoyant than it was two years ago and if I can’t have my freelancer lifestyle in New York, I feel it’s best to end the six years of asking myself ‘is there enough money this month for me to live?’
With savings used up and the economy where it is, working part time is no longer an option. So, having furiously looked for the last few months, TODAY I start my fantastic new but normal job. One that pays at the end of each month, only requires me to work during ‘normal office hours’ giving me plenty of time to write – unlike a few years ago.
The role is to raise awareness amongst school children so they are inspired to work in the under-staffed hospitality industry. But wait, it’s better than that:
- I’m working for a charity within a not for profit organisation
- using all my skills of the last several years: coaching, event organising, fund-raising, working with schools, working with the hospitality industry, raising awareness, obtaining sponsorship, business development
- working from home and in Birmingham, covering the Midlands region saves on both commuting and travel costs (and anxiety)
- I can continue to own my business and work on some tasks in evenings but outsource others. I still want to build on that for the time being.
- have 25 days paid holiday, rather than having a holiday and then paying someone else to do my work, hence tripling the cost of aforementioned holiday
- The biggest plus point, next time I visit the Embassy to obtain a tourist visa, I can tell them I have a bona fide permanent job that ties me to the UK proving I have no desire to give up my UK residency
To summarise: Normal job = normal pay = normal hours = more time to write
I was looking to move to London, something I never thought I would do again but I do need an adventure to keep my mind occupied and lead a well rounded life. However, this organisation had a job in London but they decided I would be better suited to this new Birmingham opportunity. Although I am working for someone else I see it as no different to working on clients’ demands as it’s a completely autonomous role. This way, I plan my own time and enjoy what I do whilst helping a good cause.
I won’t be ducking out for 3-4 hours every afternoon to write but I will focus on that more for a couple of hours most evenings and all weekend so the writing will not suffer. In fact I plan to resume my writing practice with the Gotham Writers Workshop book, start an online course with the same school in New York and start writing a book once I have decided which idea to go with.
I do feel like I’ve come out of the black hole I’ve been in for almost a year and can start living and even build a social life again. I think the wonderful Christmas holiday helped with the motivation although I’d already decided this is what I was going to do for 2010.
Here’s to a new beginning….