Monday, April 28, 2008

Structure or No Structure?

Republic of Texas bloom
Republic of Texas rose

It's been said that having a boring day (or night) job is dandy for a writer. A boring job gives the writer time to think about their characters and plot. By the time she sits down to write, she is ready to pour out words like water out of a pitcher.

I've been a self-employed, work from home gal most of my adult life. A year long stint in as a bank teller while The Pilot Guy finished college, a disasterous attempt at being someone else's studio manager twenty years ago, and a few months working part time for a photography prop shop are the only 'real' jobs on my resume.

However, I've started from stratch two different photography studios in two different cities, ran them for years at a stretch, and had many satisfied clients. I consider myself a good employee, but really, I wonder, am I? I hate giving control of my life and schedule to someone else. On the other hand, I love not having the stresses of is-this-the-right-decision-for-the-company moments, too. I love working for myself. I love the joy of a completed sale and delighted customer. I enjoy the risks and challenges of being self-employed. I also enjoy getting a regular, if modest, paycheck without having to worry about if the business will exist next year.

For the last few years my focus has been on finishing the homeschool path with my remaining teenaged son. A year from now that path will end as he graduates. In fact, next fall as a senior, he will take a couple of courses at the local community college and fewer at home. I'm considering the age old question of what's next?

In fact right now I'm considering what my focus needs to be this summer. Do I get a quick and easy part time job (there by giving up major portions of control over my life) in order to knock out some lingering debt or do I focus hard and long on building a freelance writing career (with all its stresses and uncertainities.)?

Is it better for a creative person to just have a j. o. b. for a time to pay bills or should the creative only seek the path of creativity? Is there an in-between path that I'm missing?

5 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

pottermom said...

I'm two years into retirement and I'm still trying to figure it out. Seems my lot is to be grandma, not a bad lot when you consider it but I have this little idea bouncing around in the back of my head that I really am a potter just waiting to bust out on my own.... lol

Sweet P said...

I'm struggling with that question myself these days. A steady paycheck is nice, but sometimes a steady job can drain creativity. Let me know if you come up with the answer.

DebD said...

Great question. I don't know the right answer for myself much less for someone else. I do think the luxury of this time in our lives is that we do have time to try out many different possibilities.

Being Beth said...

In my humble opinion and from my personal experience, I say, NO JOB. We get restless as we see an "ending" coming; especially if the ending is that of active motherhood. Don't rush the ending. This last summer with your son is important. Teens need you now more than ever -- even if all they need is to know that you are there, dependable -- though their quest for independence seems to say the opposite. And don't rush the new beginning either, for after every good ending, comes a time of transition, a stroll through "No man's land" which prepares you for a wider impact in the world. It gives you time and space to do some internal reflection that will reveal God's direction and then you will begin to unfold and expand into more of yourself. Don't fill that empty space with a job -- there are gifts to be discovered in the restless solitude -- gifts that can be easily missed if you immediately fill that space with something other than youself.

Lorna said...

Being Beth has some great advice. You are now multi-talented and whatever you decide to do will be of great value to someone. Be sure to recognise the value of your skills and not sell yourself short. Enjoy!