Last week a started a new job. Sort of.
I never exactly set out to be an insurance agent. First I was a hostess for 3 1/2 years, then a photo lab tech/drug store stocker for 2 years. After that it sort of fell into my lap that I got my insurance license for personal lines (think home and auto insurance) and for the last 5 1/2 years that’s where I’ve been.
It’s been alright. I have more good days than bad, and it’s been a good job to me in most scenarios, so I’ve put down roots. I am not a creature who enjoys change. I prefer to stay where I am if at all possible.
Last week, however, things changed… at least somewhat. I still work in the same office, I’m still the office manager (and the ONLY consistent person in the last 6 years), but I work for a new boss. The office was sold to a new agent and we’re starting over from scratch. This is incredibly nerve-wracking as we’ve hired new people, started tons of new ‘processes’ to run the office, and questioned and second-guessed nearly everything I do.
But now, 11 days into the month, I can see that this change will be for the good. The past week and a half have been a non-stop messy roller coaster for me and I feel as though surely I have worked at least three weeks already, but it is good. Once things settle down after another month or so, I believe my bad days will be fewer and my stress will be lower.
I never intended for insurance to be my career. Even though I don’t see me leaving the profession any time soon, I still don’t intend for it to be my career. But the recent flurry of new-found structure in an office-setting has me rethinking what I want out of writing.
Writing is work.
Okay, okay, I know that last sentence was weird and scary. But if you want to make something of yourself as an author, writing IS work. There is nothing wrong with being a hobbyist writer, and at best that is what I have been thus far. I can blame any number of reasons: laziness, uncertainty, lack of instant inspiration, low confidence, figuring out that writing can actually be quite difficult… The list goes on. But if I want to somehow, someday make it my living? Hobby just isn’t going to cut it.
This is the first year I have seen myself act more seriously. I can’t say that it means more to me now, because I’m not sure that’s true. But I have learned enough that perhaps I am ready to be serious. Or at least try my hand at it so that I can keep on learning the next set of lessons to come.
I’m making time to write, even if it’s not as much as I would like yet. I’m thinking about my online presence and exactly what I want it to be, even if that means I’m a bit slow for now. I’m telling at least a few people my goals, and reporting back to them to own up to my sole responsibility for meeting them. It’s a start, but for two months now I have been consistent. Therefore it is a good start.
Now to learn how to say ‘no’ when I really should be writing instead….
If anyone can balance work work and writing work, it is you, my dear! Just don’t get discouraged. One sentence is still progress. That progress will set you up for even more success the next time you sit down to write.
Also, I love your blog!
Thank you very much! I appreciate the encouragement. =)
Having a day job and balancing writing is tough – especially when at the end of the day you just want to go and do something FUN, not put more work into something else. It’s finding a way to keep writing fun that has often gotten the better of me.
But it is finding that balance in everything else that ‘has’ to be done that will keep writing from feeling like a chore. And yeah, saying ‘no’ is so much a part of it! *hugs*
Sometimes it’s that I want to come home and have fun. Sometimes I want to come home and do nothing. And sometimes I come home and just know there is a list of other things that must be done. And then poof…. suddenly it’s bedtime. I have come to the conclusion that bedtime is both evil and blessed all in one.
I need to get back to writing. I have excused my lack of writing due to business and other things on my schedule, but now that all of that is dying down, I need to hold myself to some words every day, or at least a quota every week. I just have to be careful I don’t make myself hate the process, haha. great post. Hope things get less stressful very soon!
Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
A-Z Blogging in April Participant
It is SO easy to come up with things to do other than writing. Even when you love writing! It’s kind of unfair how easy it is. The best thing to do when you’re out of habit is to make your quotas small at first and build them back up. You can do it!! And thanks for the encouragement. =)
Writing is work, but I try to look at it as my cool second job. 🙂
That’s a great way to think of it!
Consistency is a huge accomplishment! Puts you one up on me. My biggest problem with consistency (I think) is having a comfortable place to write. Consequently, writing can be a real pain.
Comfortable places to write are very important, both physical and mental comfort. And I suppose I can only call what I’ve got true consistency when I can keep it up for one year straight!