Work is Scarce

I write, for fun and for a "living," such as it is; I've been unemployed for a long time now. You can imagine my enthusiasm when I suddenly started bringing in a few hundred dollars a month through freelancing online... articles, blog posts, product reviews, ghostwriting, SEO. You name it, and that's what I've been doing to earn my keep. I was ecstatic when it started; I was *doing* it. I was making it, on my own, without a job... but then I hit a wall.

I've had little trouble earning $3-400 per month this way. If I had a full-time job *and* this, it'd be ideal. I'd be able to live the life I wanted and fit my side-work around my career. Past the point of a few hundred dollars, though--once you get to "standing on my own" territory, at least a $2,000 per month, not that I've gone anywhere *near* that yet--it's like I run into a brick wall. I can't keep myself organized. I don't have one manager; I have two dozen, and none of them know, or cooperate with, each other. I'll have 100,000 words' worth of writing due in a 4-day period, and then nothing for a week. I could organize things more efficiently...

...but I'm failing at doing so. 

It's nobody's fault but my own. I'm good with one, two, three, six, eight jobs on my plate... but I won't have that many, for the longest time, and then I'll suddenly have twenty. Or thirty. I ask for extra time from everybody, and I procrastinate, telling myself that I'm going to take it easy on this heavy workload for a day or two... and the next thing y'know, I'm late. On everybody. And it's really nobody's fault but my own, but I'm starting to wonder if this simply isn't the line of work I'm suited to... and that thought scares the living daylights out of me, because I've always wanted to write for a living, and not be tied to big projects all the time, but to have a lot of little jobs going. Since the internet has been around, I've been wanting to get in on this kind of business. It's all I've got ahead of me, the only thing I've geared myself up for.

I'm all but skill-less. It's basically this, or getting a couple of part-time fast food and grocery clerk jobs... and I hate those. I'm 35. I put in the better part of 20 years working in those places. When you're 35, they don't treat you any less like shit than they do any of the other employees. The last time I had a McJob (it was actually at McDonalds) I told off the manager and stormed out... like an angry teenager. I was 33 at the time. 

What I'm doing now... I can *do* it, in that I'm good at it, and people like my results. In an industry that's often more about "I'm working on it" than "here's something concrete" I tend to actually deliver--but it's when I do anything at all. I don't know if it's discipline, support, hope, or belief in myself that I'm lacking... maybe all of the above, but it's a mounting frustration. I'd like, at the very least, to be able to support myself off of this and stop turning to relatives for assistance, stop visiting the food bank, even if I can't do much more than that.

User Comments
Anon-1

I used to have the worst organizational skills on the planet. I have a couple of small pieces of advice: in addition to sticking hardcore to a set daily routine until you're used to the lifestyle of a freelancer, try writing stuff down--maybe on sticky-notes. I went through pad after pad of sticky-notes, but it helped. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, and I hope that you experience amazing success :)