Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First Meeting of the Fist Shakers' Club

What's on my desk right now. Looks like litter.

This week, I was offered a part-time job at our local newspaper. I'd interviewed, — more like an informal chat, really — a few weeks ago and the paper's owner barely glanced at my portfolio, saying, "I'm confident you can do the work. I've seen your website." He went on to note that their computers and software systems were about the same vintage as my college degree, no mean feat in the constantly-updating design world. "We take good care of our equipment," he says, "and we'll use it until it dies on us." Sounds like a solid, environmentally-friendly, the-way-our-grandparents-rolled way of life. Right? Sure, in any other field. My job options: Use a decade-old computer running on an antique operating system, merged in this case with an obsolete design program, topped off with dial-up web service and a $9/hr* pay rate. A frustrating combination at best. So why am I still entertaining the idea?

I'm not sure why, but this job offer led me to reevaluate my goals. Once again. I am often bored, easily distracted by weird things (say, web search tangents that keep fragmenting) and sidelined by promised projects that fail to arrive. I don't profit from the lapses between jobs by using extra time to write a few extra pages or draft a query or dream up an estimate for a new marketing scheme. Instead I putter.

Last weekend, George and I had a budget meeting. Ha. More of a review of our accounts. We updated our line items and realized that we have enough money for me to continue this lifestyle, this staying home to work thing. My bakery ventures are close to paying for themselves, which is nice, and my work life covers all of that cost, enabling us to keep business entirely separate. It's good news. I don't need the extra $100/week a frustrating side job would add, especially not if I lose 3 days of regular work to stuff it in. But I am missing the challenge of interaction, of action, of deadlines and a place to go. I need some accountability. Apparently, I am not as grown up as I look.

If you're reading this and you think of it, email me. Ask me what I've written that day. If you want, I'll hold you accountable for something, too. We can email reminders to each other and set up a little community of tyrannous fist-shakers. What a lovely offer I am making. Who wants to join my club?

*To be fair, that pay is really good for this area. Not for freelance, but as a part-time rate.

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