Saturday, January 07, 2006

How to be Gainfully Unemployed

I have been getting many questions about how I fill my days. The real question is: how did I fit in a corporate job?

In addition to a project list divided into sections such as writing, acting, personal, and home projects, I have a weekly writing goal of 25 new pages. This does not count editing, researching, submitting, or entering contests. I also want to increase every month the number of submissions I have at a time, whether to contests, agents, editors, upcoming conference appointments,etc.

Here are some of the projects I've been working on:

1) website. After researching web designers and wasting time thinking I could create the kind I wanted by myself, I finally chose one and am working on content so when she's ready to work on design I'll be ready.
2) I just joined the board of the Chicklit Romance Writers of the World. We had a 2 hour online meeting this week and I have to figure out exactly what my position is and do something.
3) acting auditions: see post below.
4) getting more acting agents and a writing agent
5) finishing my manuscript in progress, which fortunately a couple of industry people are already waiting to see
6) the American Title II contest
7) preparing an online workshop I agreed to do later this month for Hearts Through History Romance Writers
8) judging 7 55 page entries for a contest

Each night I set goals for the next day based on what's already on my schedule. I am a morning person, and the kind of person who can only play when all work is done. This is starting to be a problem, because I have so many projects and enjoy doing them that my work is never done. I'd hoped to take weekends completely off and just play, but today I wrote 7 new pages.
Nonetheless, thanks to my mom I now have TiVo, so I can catch up on my favorite shows at night.

While I miss daily contact with the people I worked with, and clients who after so many years became my friends, I don't miss the work I did.

Fortunately I have a good friend who is also a writer and has other pursuits. We check in with each other once a week to make sure we're staying on track. I schedule at least one social event a week, but usually end up with more. I'm still involved with several Chicago Bar Association groups and have monthly meetings for those plus my local Romance Writer meetings. I'm taking a weekend acting workshop. I've also started exercising six mornings a week.

This is just a taste of how I can be Gainfully Unemployed!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth!
From one Lady of Leisure to another - it sure beats working 8 to 5 on some job that doesn't fullfill you, doesn't it? Congratulations for having the guts to leave Corporate America. You go girl! I hit the joy and happiness "jackpot" myself when I lost my job about 10 years ago. Freedom! You don't know how much stress you have until it's finally gone. I could never and would never go back to my old life. Don't be fooled or kid yourself, however, because people see your new life and joy and are jealous of you. They wish they could do what you are doing. But that is their problem not yours. Just follow your heart and good luck to you!