Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Professional Plans And NaNoWriMo

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome you gave to me as I've returned to blogging. I loved your comments, and I received the inner nourishment they gave me. I send my love radiating back to each of you!

Believe it or not, I intended to blog "almost" daily, and here it is again almost another week having passed...I am not as organized nor as on top of things as I've been, I'm afraid.

Well, I'm at a point in my life in which I need to return to work, probably by next year sometime. So it's not really soon, but I can't delay forever. I need to be at least thinking about it now. As I see it, I have five main choices:

(1) Go back to being a Life Coach.
If I did this option, I could make the most money, but it takes a lot of energy and verve to be an entrepreneur, and I'm more in a self-healing mode right now, so I don't know about this one. Also on the plus side, I could work from home, and things are so beautiful and peaceful here. In addition, I could see myself doing this for the long haul. I already know how I would coach, but I'd need to freshen up my credentials and get a bit more training, too. This option would take a lot of effort to implement.

(2) Be Underemployed.
I like this one. It would be almost effortless. It would involve getting an easy job of some type, temporarily and just for the money until the point would come where I could launch something bigger. This honors the healing mode I'm in. Such jobs can stifle creativity though (at least for me), so I wouldn't want to get stuck there for years and years. When I'm stuck in this way it can be hard to summon the energy to live a bigger life. I am not a high-energy person, and this could leave me in a stagnant place unable to get out.

(3) Write.
This is my dream job, and one that really doesn't involve money unless I have the luxury of waiting for an indefinite period of time, because I don't want to write articles--I want to write novels. On the one hand, I love the contemplative lifestyle, I could work from home, and many people think this is what I should do. On the other hand, who actually makes money as a writer, and can I be one of those very few people?

(4) Something Else.
This is something I haven't thought of yet.

(5) Some Combination of the above.
I thrive with a single focus, am not too good with multi-tasking. However, it's possible.

If I take Oprah's advice that she gave recently in an interview at Facebook headquarters, there is one clear choice for me. Oprah said that she was scared to death of starting her own television network. She asked herself, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" (That old standby coaching question!) Then it was easy for her to know how to proceed--of course, she would start her own television network.

So if I ask myself that same question, the clear choice (and also the one I am most afraid of) is option number (3). To explore it I am thinking that I may enter NaNoWriMo again. NaNoWriMo is a creative writing project in which people all over the world (over 200,000 people) join together and write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It is an annual contest. You win if you finish. I did it once back in 2007, and loved it. From that time, I have the first half of a novel--a draft--but a pretty decent one, I think.

After NaNoWriMo I was all charged up to write. I ended up writing a non-fiction book for a charity that may ultimately get published someday, but for that for now is in limbo. I spent a lot of time writing that book, and oodles of money getting it edited, and it has languished. I suspect it may never be published. I can't afford for that to happen again--have a book be a money pit. I learned a lot from that experience though.

So, to get things fired up again, I'm thinking that I may just do NaNoWriMo next month. I could end up with a completed draft of a book. I'd be writing part two of that book I wrote four years ago. It would only be one month out of my life and I'd learn if the person I am today enjoys that kind of work, fun, and intensity. I'd also learn if what I write could be any good and make any money, even a nominal amount. That would be useful feedback.

So what do you think? I really value your opinions; everyone thinks so differently and I find much insight in the advice of wise friends (you).

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark


patti said...

I love that you are at a turning point O! Lots for you to think about!

I like the combination option.

I know for myself, working on a casual basis 2-3 days a week allows me plenty of time to make some art and develop this as a business if I so wish.

The 'job' funds the art (and other things) and gives me time out in the world with people. I enjoy solitude, but too much is not good for well being, I have found.

NaNoWriMo as a testing ground is an excellent idea.

Having said that, you would make an excellent life coach and the 'something else' sounds tantalizing! :)

Cinner said...

Welcome back I was so thrilled to see you here. I have missed you. The turning point for you. I would do the combination of things...I too have to figure it out. I am hoping maybe next summer I will be healthy enough to be back at work. I think you should to that Nanowrimo thing... it will get you back at it. Lots of hugs your way. you made my day. hugs.

Kate said...

Do what you love is what I say. I'd love it if you did Nano again. It does get one about excited about writing again and it really is so much fun. Go with the thing that gives you the most joy,


CrystalChick said...

I definitely think you should do the NaNoWriMo. Since you participated before and enjoyed it, why not? If you have a good first draft of something to build off of then it probably would be both fun and challenging to continue. And like you said, it's only a month of your life. Since you have a little time before having to decide on anything specific, it's a great place to start! You may continue on after the month knowing it's where you want and need to be or you'll be able to explore one of the other options.

Good wishes! xo

Sarah (Nikki) said...

woo hoo. YOu go girl. Write for 50,000 words in a month. I did it last year and drove myself nuts although I got the basis for a great book. Love that question Oprah asked. And I want to tell you to write...do what you love...what drives you.....live your best life. loved reading your awesome words here. Happy Thanksgiving weekend. The best yet.

kate i said...

Olivia, it's always impossible to know what's best for someone else but if your heart is in finishing your novel then yes, definitely you should.

If you won't have to work full time then I'd say something physically easy for you and part time would be best. Put your foot in the water and test it out. Another thought to keep in mind is that any decision you make isn't irevocable. You can try any one of your options and if it's not working for you, then rethink it and try plan B...and C...etc, until you find exactly the plan than suits you best.

"Possibilities only exist in uncertainty" is my new mantra! Much love to you dear friend.