freedom! ’17

freedom 17_SOM.jpgToday is the 1st anniversary of the last day I worked for someone else. That was not the plan, though.

I was working a short contract position at a theme park as a technical writer. I thought that this was what I wanted to do professionally, even before I graduated from grad school (which I did three years ago last month).

The gig paid well. The people I worked with, for the most part, were great to work with. My team of writers, though, was not. It was icy, insular, and white, like an igloo with the door shut.

I was sad that my contract wasn’t renewed. I knew I had done an excellent job. But maybe politics got in the way. It was a long commute from my side of town, most of which I didn’t do with my own car yet.

So here’s what’s happened to me since then, in somewhat chronological order:

  • I evacuated and went home due to Hurricane Matthew.
  • Went on unemployment
  • Signed up for “content mills”–website that people use to hire writers for cheap
  • Went on food stamps
  • Applied for full-time jobs
  • Had my room flood due to busted pipes
  • Found a steady client for social media work
  • Started to find new friends (online but still)
  • Saw one awful housemate move out and a worse one move in
  • Helped a friend move from Miami to D.C.
  • Lost my car, again
  • Focused on my blog again
  • Went to St. Pete for a women’s retreat
  • Got a new website for my writing business, then switched developers
  • Partnered with a friend to do copy editing and writing
  • Updated my writing rates
  • Evacuated to Chicago for 12 days because of Hurricane Irma
  • Finished two big copy editing and writing projects (just this month)

It’s been a lot, and to have the freedom to create my own schedule, to work from home—even if home is obnoxious a lot of the time—it’s a freedom I’ve experienced before, when I was working as a contracted grant writer. It was nice to get work done in Chicago without having to need anything except my computer. My business is me.

And to even say that I have a small business—that’s really wild. I wasn’t signing up to do the content mills because I wanted to. I didn’t even necessarily want to be on this path. But a solar return (astrological term for birthday) report that I received almost two years ago confirmed that I needed to work for myself.

I just didn’t think it’d be so soon.

It’s been a little harrowing, though—and that’s an understatement. But I didn’t expect to be a small business owner, I really didn’t. All I have wanted since I’ve been in Florida is to support myself, which had gotten increasingly harder to do. The opportunities are here, but they don’t seem to be for me.

But Twitter has especially helped me out–with job opportunities, with fundraising, with emotional support. It’s funny how I came down here thinking I’d get that from the people I knew down here. But Florida has been the land of surprising disappointments. And after this hurricane evacuation, and seeing how easy it was to be in Chicago, I plan on leaving here in 2018. I have long overstayed my welcome, but I’ll write more on that later.

I don’t have much to say except that I am grateful—and maybe a little exhausted. I waded through swamps of humiliation, doubt, and frustration and I feel like things are finally going to be even beyond where I wanted them to be, yet where I need them to be.

Here’s to Freedom! ’17. 🙌🏾🎉🍾🍻

I need your help / How can I help you?

help-me-1546557

The caption of this picture is “help me,” and who can resist a little kitten like this? Unless you hate cats.

Hi folks,

Happy Halloween and Samhain for those who celebrate!

So, I am asking for your financial help while I look for my next job. September 30th was the last day of my last writing gig. During my time down here in Florida (four years and counting), it’s been pretty unstable. I’ve had six addresses and one post office box  in that time. It’s definitely been, and continues to be, a hero’s journey.

The next week with bills is looking a little rough. If you want to donate to my cause of self-preservation, especially if this blog or my tweets have helped you (or entertained you) in any way, you can click here for my cash.me account or here for PayPal.

And, in the future (hopefully this week), I’ll launch my Patreon so you can have the opportunity to support this blog on a more regular. My dream is to put more thoughtful time into this place because through all those unstable times, I’ve learned some thangs! I’ll probably put up a donate button, too.

Finally, let’s talk about how I can serve you. I’ve been a technical writer, science writer, grant writer and editor, an adjunct English professor, and my MFA is in Creative Writing (nonfiction). I’ve been really blessed to have been a working writer, and I look forward to doing that again! If you have any writing needs–from looking over your resume to cover letter to looking over your web copy–I can help! Another dream of mine is to be self-employed; so maybe working together will be one brick in the foundation of that dream. Oh! And if you have any writing job leads, remote or in Florida, hit me up on my Contact page.

If you can’t donate or don’t need my writing skills, I could use your good vibes, prayers, juju, whatever goodness you can send my way.

Thank you, dear readers. I’ll be back later this week with more talk about mud…and flowers.

Peace,

s.o.m.