The first full week of 2009 has been somewhat odd and intense for me. After the intial pleasentness of New Year’s Day passed, all the slightly less pleasent aspects of starting a new year in my current situation started rearing their ugly head, and by the beginning of the week, I was skewing back into a very familiar feeling of depression. Events weren’t helped by the simple fact that the first week back is always going to be slow, that I’m a freelancer who’s in the middle of attempting a fairly major career change (along with all the other changes I’m having to cope with), and that no matter how bad or good I’m feeling, there is something inherently dispiriting about sending out lots of stuff and hardly getting any replies. I have, at least, got a healthy chunk of work coming up at the end of January, but that was matched by learning that one of my few review outlets is changing hands, and likely scaling back any potential for further reviews. To be honest, I knew that kind of thing was going to be thin thanks to my Manchester-based life, but it is somewhat as if the door has slammed behind me, and I’ve now got to make this work. Combine this with the general atmosphere of random despair you can get from even a glance at the headlines, and it’s easy to not exactly feel tickitiboo right now.
However, from Tuesday onwards I bounced back – since then, I have been occupying myself with a combination of getting some writing done and a heavy redesign of my website, and it’s been going pretty well. The writing is part of an ongoing quest to get myself doing a certain amount every week, and the website is a combination of getting the ‘work’ section of my site correct, and redesigning it so that it does its job better and attracts search engine hits more. I’ve been doing this thanks to plenty of advice from my Web-design-savvy friend Tris, and it is turning into a somewhat massive job – I’m essentially rebuilding the whole site from the ground up, and throwing a serious amount of new content on there as well (including a gigantic collection of reviews). Once it’s done, I’m hoping that it will help – and, to be honest, it’s helping to have something to do right now. I’d far rather be spending my time doing stuff that’s going to help in the long term, then simply be panicking and running around like a headless chicken, which is often my default situation when I don’t have much work on (another reason for questing for more proofreading – the structure of it does me an awful lot of good). I spent yesterday on a mission to get my hair cut and buy a new coat – and, amazingly, was successful on both counts, while this morning I went shopping, and was happy to find that my rough target for spending and my estimate of what my trolley of goods would add up to was almost exactly the final total on the receipt. This afternoon, I’ve been finishing off a project, and tonight I’ll be relaxing with pizza and a movie (probably a second watch of the wondrous WALL-E), as it’s back to the grindstone tomorrow, with a review to finish, podcasts to listen to, and more work to do on the website than is comfortable. All in all, however, 2009 is off to a fairly good start.