I enrolled in Edward Keenan's course Writing Is A Business at The Academy of the Impossible, picked up another writing gig (shhh - no details yet), pitched a blog idea to my office boss, and spent March madly writing for xoxoamore.com. It's been a wordy month. Keenan's advice to newbie writers was basically, "Take all the jobs you can afford to take - free, cheap, whatever - to build your network and your portfolio." Good advice, Keenan...but how do I write and hold down my bill-payin' job? And sleep?
Lots of balance. Or, more likely, attempts at lots of balance with a hefty side helping of "OMG Need Moar Time."
Unlike a few months ago, I'm now struggling a little with the idea of writing for free. Will writing for free or cheap now set a dangerous precedent that I'm not, you know, worth paying? So I'm treating these next few months like a crash course in getting out there: pitching, writing, building a brand and a voice, getting used to rejection and toughening up my skin. Most j-school graduates have this all squared away by the time they convocate, but for those of us who take a more circuitous route to the game, there are a lot of false starts, moments of unsureness, not-totally-perfect jobs, and all the other starting-up stumbling blocks that everyone faces. Keenan talked about his first three months as a writer: he sent a pitch to Harper's, another to the New Yorker, and then basically sat around fretting. I laughed, mostly out of sympathy and recognition. Like, been there, friend.
That I have a day job is a double-edged sword; I like my job a lot (and it's definitely paying my bills) but 40 hours a week in the office leaves little time to build that momentum. I anticipate spending a lot of this summer very tired. But, like I have for the last three years, I love blogging for Hipsters. In any case - apologies to my loyal readers (hi mom!) when I stumble for a couple weeks. My path is just under construction right now.