One of the biggest hurdles for me is where to draw the line on unpaid efforts. I’m a pleaser, and as such, my tendency is to fulfill. That’s how I’m wired. The challenge comes in when I have to prioritize fulfillment, especially now, when most of my opportunities are writing/editing related.
My boyfriend Kirk suggested that I look at what I’m giving away. How do I value that, if I were to apply something as gauche as money to it? What’s my intellectual property worth, in other words? Kirk says, “Well, if you were punching a time clock, you wouldn’t be able to do what you do.”
My time clock is virtual. And therein lies the rub.
I was born to be a support girl. A Gal Friday who shows up with half-combed hair and a soft pencil. Preparation has never been a strong suit. For me, the excitement is in the unexpected, so my preparation is more about deciding which of my senses I’m going to foreground for maximum capture. My strategy is that I have no strategy. Ergo, I go into overdraft every damn month.
I have the feeling that if I really convinced myself that making money was important, I’d have more. Only problem is, money only figures in when I’m completely out. How passive is that?
I’ve decided to stop writing community news. To stop doing any journalism that doesn’t translate to $25 or more an hour. Better to spend that time on business development for BridgePointNW (which, if you’ve linked on, you realize is the web equivalent of the shoemaker’s child ). So, those 20 or so hours a month I was basically giving away for the byline are going to be rerouted to show-me-the-$ land.
For now, I feel I need to continue to say yes to requests for brain-storming and helping various friends with writing/editing needs. These tend to pay off quite well, in the long run, as everyone I’m helping is part of a network of writers who now and again throw bones my way, and as an Independent Contractor, nearly all of my income-producing opportunities have been word-of-mouth type serendipities.
Okay, so when do I work on my creative stuff? Where’s that 20 hours a week going to come from? Stay tuned for phase two of my Time Management journey…