A year ago this week I learned of a job at Writers Cubed Inc where I would be the Director of Operations helping run conferences and other events for teenage writers and support teen and child literacy. I applied and got the job. This week I am winding down the last pieces of my employment with them. It isn’t the outcome anyone wanted. They wanted to build me into their structure for years to come and I liked being a core structural element in making events happen. Unfortunately finding funding for non-profits is complex and often difficult. They’re experiencing a funding gap and they can’t afford to pay a Director of Operations for the next year or more. So I’ve been carefully closing up files, finishing off email chains, and logging out of programs. I’ve also been observing the emotions of job loss as I go through them, even while part of me is glad to have my time less constrained. My work for them went on hold more than a month ago, and I haven’t been any less busy.
This often seems to be the case. As if tasks are just waiting in the wings to flow into any available space. We got our copies of A Little Immortality delivered from the printer and that has moved us into Shipping Season with its attendant raft of tasks. Every shipping season is a little bit different. This one is the first time we’ve had books delivered from our local printer, it is the first time orders will be waiting on the arrival of coins instead of books, it is the first time my son is being trained in all the shipping tasks with an eye to him fully taking over the job the next time around. All of this occupies my time while I’m contemplating how my life will be shaped when my schedule is no longer bent around working 10-15 hours per week for someone else. While I’m also contemplating how I can fill the income gap that not having an additional paycheck will cause. I can see my way through August. Between now and then I need to figure out additional steps.
One of the things I am doing is plowing through drafting books, so that I can get feedback on books, so that I can move closer to getting more books on the table. Working an outside job on top of the work for my own business taught me stamina in a new way, I’m using that stamina and habit-of-work to make words happen. Then once I have feedback, I’ll have a better feel for whether anything I have written is viable as something that can be published. I’ll have a feel for how much more work there is to do. Perhaps when the first rush of shipping slows down I will be able to get some videos posted to Patreon. Perhaps after I’m done drafting entire books I can turn my attention back to shorter fiction. Or perhaps when I reach August it will become apparent that I need to be looking for another job.
Usually this sort of uncertainty makes me anxious. I suppose I am a little, but I’m also feeling fairly calm, like this is a good path, that I have good plans, and that between now and September further paths will become more clear to me.