What If?

What if everything I wanted came true? What would my life look like? They say it can be helpful to envision what you want, to give you motivation to make it happen. So here it goes:

  • I would live in my current house, but it would be clean and organized and fully functional, without any concerning maintenance issues.
  • I would have two beautiful, well-behaved children who loved spending time with me but were also free, independent thinkers who were thriving and growing.
  • I would have a fulfilling book-related career (as a librarian? an Educational Services Representative?) and also have my fulfilling side projects. My websites would be full, getting traffic, bringing in income, and helping people. My novels would be actually selling, and I would be making progress on additional books to publish and sell.
  • I would be involved in my kids’ schools, able to help with projects and field trips and fundraisers.
  • I would be able to give back and get the kids involved in giving back, through volunteering or donating. I’m also still considering fostering…
  • I would be happy, comfortable financially, able to go on vacations with the kids, with enough free time to catch up on my reading list or watch movies or treat myself to a manicure or bake.

I think that sounds good. Now, if I follow recommended advice, the way to accomplish these goals is to work backward and determine what I would need to do to reach them. What steps would I need to take, how long would I need, what would I need to do each day to get there?

Now that would require a lot of thought and planning and figuring out. I’ll save that for a future post! But the reason I bring it up now is because I hate feeling like my options to meet my immediate needs aren’t bringing me any closer to my long-term goals. And I need to either find a way to deal with that or find other ways to meet my immediate needs that do bring me closer to my goals.

I have spent the last week trying to figure out the best course of action. I’ve said I was going to make the leap into freelancing, and yet I find myself reluctant to start. Scrolling through job boards to bid on, I find myself struck with an emotion other than the fear I mentioned last week. It’s a feeling akin to disappointment. The feeling that if the jobs that interest me most are in line with my own personal projects, why should I spend the time writing for someone else when I could be writing the same things for my own sites and getting myself closer to my goals at the same time?

I know, I know. The guarantee of money is a strong motivator. But I kind of feel I would be wasting my time — and possibly shooting myself in the foot at the same time, as I might not be able to reuse what I wrote for my own needs, which would affect my sites in the future. So what do I do?

And, let’s not discount the fact that while reaching out for advice on ways to bring in money an idea was presented to me that has since been rolling around in my head, growing like a snowball, to the point that I kind of want to jump in to that new project. What is it? A new blog, and coordinating site, that revolves around books, specifically children’s books (though I suppose I could expand it if I wanted to). This project could have positive effects, as it could provide ad revenue (especially if I opted to expand onto YouTube for reviews and such), plus ways to channel traffic to my Usborne Books & More business, any children’s books I decide to write, and more. Hey, I might even get to the point where I’m getting free books to review and whatnot, but I may be getting ahead of myself. Still, the possibilities are endless. (I know, I know. I do not need another project right now, but if it helps and has a lot of potential, is it really so bad?)

Keep in mind that all these thoughts are swimming in my brain as I’m trying to take steps for immediate needs, and I feel I’m not getting too far. I tried transcription again and spent about an hour and a half transcribing a 16-minute audio clip for about $6. It’s more than I would have gotten just sitting on my butt, but not much more! Is it worth it to keep going? Yes, I would get faster with time, and yes, I would get more per minute as I get established, but still… I spent a couple of hours posting items on eBay. I’m hoping that pays off, but it’s too soon to say. Was that a waste, too?

I’m torn. Can you tell? I have such high hopes for the future, and so many things I want to do. I had thought I was getting closer to a solution, but I realize I’m not, after all. So where do I go from here?

Well, I think that when it comes to freelancing I’m going to look for projects that are not related to my personal projects. In other words, find topics I’m interested in that I wasn’t creating a website for (maybe kids/family life, writing etc.) or focus on editing, proofreading, and other tasks that are not actually writing. And in the meantime try to make progress on my own websites (and maybe that new blog…?) and other projects. I’m also going to continue to post items on eBay. Not only will that possibly bring in income, but if I find the gifty items I’m posting are selling well, I may be able to build something from that to relate to my gift-giving website for future income.

It’s not perfect. And I do really need to tackle that “working backward from your goals” thing. I want to feel like I’m making real progress, not just flopping around and occasionally moving forward. Ahh!!! Sometimes it feels my brain is more of a muddled mess than ever. But I feel I am getting closer to a solution, or at least a course of action. Any suggestions? Advice? I’m open to input!

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