I went to see Jersey Boys last night. It wasn’t bad. I enjoyed the music and the behind-the-scenes stuff, but it was a pretty standard biopic and stuck pretty hard to the tropes of that field. But those tropes and plot points have me thinking about my life.
Yesterday was my last official day with Angry Robot (actually today is my official official last day, but it also counts as a paid holiday due to Independence Day which I find kind of hilarious) and I’m officially unemployed. I can’t help but think of my life in terms of the biopic structure and wonder what’s next. If you watch enough of these movies, you realize that a very specific set of circumstances and people have to come together for success to happen and there’s usually a series of failed attempts at this along the way.
The problem is I don’t know where I am in my own story. Is this the inciting incident that sets me off on the main adventure of my life or is this the mid-point where my life shifts direction and sets me up toward the peak and the climax. I’d like to believe the worst of the plot traps are behind me, but I doubt it. If I had to guess, leaving my job last year and going freelance for the first time was the actual mid-point of my story. That truly turned my life in a new direction and set me up for a new set of complications.
Now I realize that real life doesn’t actually follow artificial narrative constructions, but I think looking at it in those terms can help work through the rough spots. So what’s next for me then? Before that change of direction last year if I would have lost my job I would have just looked for a new one. But losing two jobs in the space of a year through no fault of my own really shook my faith in the traditional job structure. I don’t think there’s such a thing as stable employment anymore.
So if you take that advantage away, freelancing looks like it might actually be the more stable option. I can spread my risk out over a few different income streams. I’m not beholden to the whims of one boss or one company and I don’t have to give away more than half of my income to someone else to watch my kids for me while I go off to work. And I get to do something I love. How many people can really say that about their job? Of course I say all this to convince myself as much as anything. I can’t say that if I was offered a permanent job I wouldn’t take it, but I do know that I would think about it much more carefully than I would have a year ago.
Aside from editing though, I want to focus much more on my writing this time around as well. I’ve added a writing portfolio section to my website and I’m looking at freelance writing jobs as well as editing jobs. But I’m also focusing much more on my fiction writing as well. In addition to finishing the second book on my contract with Polis, I have two other novels I want to write this year and maybe write a play or screenplay as well. It all plays to that diversification of income streams.
That’s actually the main reason I started freelance editing in the first place. I knew if I was going to make a go of working from home full-time, I was going to need something other than writing to bring in money. But I experienced so much success so quickly with the editing that I lost track of the writing part of it. I want to correct that this time around.