As is the usual with me, I am behind the times. I realize that New Years has come and gone, but as is also usual with me, I have been buried in my house with sick children. I have had a nasty cold for an.entire.month. I am so sick of being sick and I feel like all of my energy is completely drained out.
So I am just getting around to seeing my goals for 2013. I know you were holding your breath about them, so here they are, in all their late glory:
1. Finish my book. Seriously you guys, since getting my book deal, I have maybe written a couple hundred words. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Part of it fear, I think and part of it is the pure and simple fact that I can’t seem to find the time with three kids underfoot. Usually, I can manage to wake up in the morning to write, but that’s usually my “paid” writing time, when I write articles that can actually earn money and then some afternoons, Ben lets me have time to write, but that’s usually circumvented with him/the kids/some random guy down the road popping into the office to chat. Needless to say, it’s hard to concentrate. Plus, is it just me, or do you find by 3 p.m. you are so tired you can hardly think straight? Kind of makes it tough to whip together sparkling thoughts on my computer screen…
2. Find weekly time to write, kid-free. I’m still working out the details on this one, but am considering taking the kids for a morning or an afternoon at their great-aunt’s daycare while I work at my in-law’s empty house so I can be near enough to feed Jacob before it’s time to head home. A less-than-ideal situation, but it would only be for another 5 months since the book is due in May. (Holy crap, the book is due in May?!)
3. Find another regular, paying writing job. I’m following up with an editor at one of my favorite sites and I’m hoping that will turn out in my favor! I need more money!
4. Start earning a steady income from writing/my writing class/other freelance gigs that is enough to support us. I’ve been giving myself a break since Jacob was born to get back on my feet and we’ve managed to live off savings and my contributions through occasional jobs and hospital shifts, but I’d like to get us back in a good financial swing. I need to contribute at least $1,000 a month to pay the bills (hello fiscal cliff and Ben getting yet another pay cut, hooray!) and ideally, I’d like to get to $2,000 a month so we can build up our savings and retirement and maybe have some spending money. Bam. I said it. Seems outrageous, but half the battle is believing it can happen, right? So you hear that Universe? I‘d like to make $2,000 a month from writing and working from home.
5. Realize that working at the hospital is not admitting failure. Today, I got a call from my boss at the hospital–a friendly reminder that, oh, yeah, Chaunie, you haven’t worked in like a month. I have to admit that picking up shifts at the hospital makes me feel like I am failing on the writing front. I used to think that nursing was my only means to making any “real” money, but since I’ve started writing, I’ve come to see the light–this is a legitimate career. There is real money to be made and I am not going to somehow be cheating the system if I pursue a job that I love. I like parts of nursing, especially in labor and delivery, but it doesn’t even compare to the fulfillment I get in landing the perfect sentence or capturing an emotion forever in words.
For the longest time, I struggled with letting go of working as a nurse. It’s what I went to school for, it’s good money, it’s helping people for cryin’ out loud. I thought of writing as the most selfish, meaningless job on earth. Well, sure, who wouldn’t want to sit on their buns and write all day? And I’ll be honest, part of me still struggles with the thought that I should waste any of my time worrying about what makes me happy. Why does it matter if my job makes me happy if it’s providing for my family? Not everyone has a job that they love and feel passionate about.
But I’m sick of worrying about it now. I’m starting to see the light–that writing is a job. It’s a job that has endless potential and earning power. It’s a job that I am good at. It’s a job that fulfills me. It’s the best kind of job to have with a family. You know how people talk about how you know you’ve found your passion when you lose all sense of time? That’s what writing is like for me. And God forbid, it might even be a job that God wants me to do–with every kid that comes along, it gets harder and harder to leave the house, so maybe He’s trying to tell me something…;)
6. Recognize how far I’ve come. I started this blog on December 16, 2010. (You can read my riveting first post here.) I still have much of those same hesitations about blogging, but I started this blog with the faint idea of somehow making my dream of becoming a writer happen. And you guys! In the course of two years–in which time I started a new job AND had a third baby–I have managed to come from that first, cricket-producing blog post to landing a book deal, taking on my first regular writing job, and getting acceptances at the top national parenting magazines out there–Parents and Parenting. (Note: those articles are still with the editors and have not appeared online/in print yet.)
I mean, that is huge stuff! Stuff I would have only dreamed about when I started now feels like not enough. It’s craziness. I feel like I am always in such a hurry and want more and more and I want to make this writing career take off righthissecond that I lose sight of how much I have actually accomplished so far.
It is happening. I am making this happen.
How about you guys? What are your goals for the New Year? I’d love if we could encourage each other!