It’s funny how you can happily amble along for ages, telling yourself that you’re doing the right thing, telling yourself that you’re happy… and then suddenly you see your situation from a different angle. And then you think “Why the hell am I doing this?”
It’s been an odd year work-wise, and not an especially rewarding one. Being a full-time freelance journalist/sub-editor is something I’ve never been entirely comfortable with (one of the things that first nudged me towards writing The Hypernova Gambit is the hope that it might, in some way, propell me in a different direction and make something happen), and I’ve finally come to the realisation that the uncertainty, the constant scrabbling for work, and the general hassle of doing what I’m doing isn’t actually helping me anymore. It’d be nice to say I’ve got plenty of time to write, but I haven’t– and a stressed Saxon isn’t someone who feels comfortable sitting down and writing when there’s stuff to be done.
So, essentially, I’m putting a couple of plans into action – some short-term, some long-term. I’m keeping my eyes out for a part-time job. I’m putting more effort into building up subbing contacts. I’m going to rigorously pursue the idea of getting more proofreading work. Going back to full-time work isn’t a solution – it’d work short term, but it’d send me potty in short order – and I’ve obviously got the added problem that in terms of part-time work, the possibilities aren’t as strong down here as they would be in London (and a commute is only remotely worth it if it’s something as relatively well-paid as subbing). These are problems, but most problems have solutions.
I think, to be honest, that the negative aspects of this life have been affecting me for a long time (I’ve been doing this since the end of 2003), and even if my plans do take a while to come to fruition, even the thought that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel is making me feel better. It ain’t necessarily going to be easy, but I’m going to shake my life up, and do some things my instincts normally tell me not to (a decision which has me, rather worryingly, thinking of the Seinfeld episode “The Opposite”). And even if the results aren’t what I expect, I’m hoping that change will happen, and that I’ll inch closer to a working life that can actually make me happy in the long term.