Thursday, May 31, 2012

End of the Fifth Month

Five months of self-employment in the bank and what have I learned? Well, first I truly LOVE working for myself. As if that's any sort of news flash, right? I was talking to a friend who recently left my former company, and I was telling her it takes a while to de-program from the pace we used to keep. Our jobs were BUSY. We were on a constant merry-go-round of deadlines, publication schedules, editing, writing, designing. It was nonstop. We loved it, but it was a lot to manage. For me, it was doubly complicated by the thriving writing career that cropped up from something that started as a hobby and turned into something more than I ever could've imagined. As the fifth month ends, I think I've succeeded in deprogramming. I don't think about what I SHOULD be doing for the day job at this time of year anymore. I've stepped off the merry-go-round. I'm still a little dizzy because merry-go-rounds make me sick, but I'm better than I was.

I've learned that I'm not quite as disciplined as I thought I was. After working at home for 13 years, I figured, hey, I've got this covered! Turns out that when you don't have 27 co-workers and their needs framing your day, it's easy to forget that you are supposed to be WORKING right now. It's me vs. the computer and sometimes me loses. I've learned that's okay. You can't force the creative process. If it ain't happening, walk away and do something else for a while. The words will come back. I've learned that I need to compartmentalize. I'm fortunate to receive quite a lot of reader mail every day. I've learned that each email does not have to be answered the minute it is received. Now I save reader mail--the nicest part of my day--for the end of my day and that seems to be working out well. I can take an hour or two at night and veg in front of the TV and answer emails.

I've learned to not let my accounting and bookkeeping slide. I update my business accounts every day rather than twice a month. Of course I hate that part of self-employment, but it is a necessary evil. Luckily, I have an accountant who does the true heavy lifting, so all I have to do is provide the info. That sounds easier than it is, especially if I let it slide. I'm trying to be more disciplined about that. What's funny is my mother was a bookkeeper by trade. She would've taken care of the accounting books before the other books, you know, the ones that MAKE the money? :-)

I've learned that it's okay to take a day off every now and then, and I've learned it's fun to take a day off just because I can. I recently worked 12 straight hours getting Season for Love ready to go to the copy editor. That night I was making dinner and it occurred to me that I could take the next day off if I wanted to. The day after that, too. So I did. And I loved every minute of my two days off, even though I worked for a portion of both days. "Work" these days doesn't feel like at all like work.

Finally, I've learned that it's okay to exhale. Eighteen months after I self-published my first book, my business is booming, I'm writing a lot, I've got plans for books that will take me well into next year and things are good. Breathe... For the first time in YEARS, I feel like I can breathe...

I'm thankful every day to the readers who continue to make my lovely new life possible. You are among the true blessings in my life, and I am grateful for every one of you.

Now for some book news:
Reminder that Fool for Love, book 2 in the McCarthys of Gansett Island Series is on sale for 99 cents for a brief time. Get it while it's cheap! You will enjoy it more if you read book 1, Maid for Love, first.

Joe Cantrell, owner of the Gansett Island Ferry Company, has been in love with Janey McCarthy for as long as he can remember. At the same time, Janey has been dating or engaged to doctor-in-training David Lawrence. When things go horribly wrong between David and Janey, she calls her “fifth brother” Joe, one of the few people in her close circle who lives on the mainland. Janey decides a few days with Joe is just what she needs before she goes home to the island to face her parents and family with the news of her broken engagement. It was bad enough for Joe loving Janey from afar, but having her in his house is pure torture. Will he take advantage of this opportunity to show her what they could have together? And what will Joe’s best friend and Janey’s protective older brother Mac have to say about it?Get Fool for Love here: