Race for the Cure

My sister, my mom and me at the Race for the Cure.

About two weeks ago I got a team together to participate in our local Race for the Cure. The Columbus, Ohio affiliate race raised $2.5 million for breast cancer research and treatment with 50,396 participants. The day was beautiful – sunny and a nice 75 degrees. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and everyone was in good spirits.

Every year, the Race for the Cure is emotional, just because of the beauty of the survivors and the people willing to give to help the cause. This year it was especially emotional because I was personally touched by breast cancer. The biggest highlight was walking across the finish line with my mom and sister. My mom is officially a one year survivor! It was a very touching experience and one that I hope we repeat for many years to come.

The thousands of people walking to raise money for breast cancer.

The back of my race shirt dedicated to my mom.

Technical Issues

This week has been not so great. It started out with some awesome news, but has since spiraled into a pretty crappy week. To make a long story short, I’ve had some technical issues lately and my laptop is in the shop as we speak being scanned for a virus – although at this point it’s just a suspicion and fingers crossed it’s nothing! It’s been running slow for a few months and today one of my clients got a virus (hopefully not from me!). I decided it was time to get the laptop checked out just to be safe on the virus front and to find out why it’s been moving so slow. One of the major downfalls of freelancing is having to fill all the business roles like accountant and IT and I’ll be the first to admit I’m not very good at either, especially IT issues. So to say I have reached my boiling point with IT issues would be an understatement – let’s just say my laptop is lucky I haven’t gone Office Space on it.

On a brighter note, work has been picking up and I even agreed to an assignment over the weekend (before I knew I might not have my laptop). As it is the end of the month I have several projects that must get finished, so I’ll have a busy day tomorrow and work part of the weekend. I’ve also gotten several magazine pitches out this week and am hoping I’ll get a bite. The ideas are flowing more freely as I actively work on developing ideas daily.

It’s a short post this week and while I have some good post ideas, I’ve had to deal with other things this week. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

**Update: I got my laptop back. It got a clean bill of health and doesn’t have any viruses. They also did some updates to it so hopefully it will be running smoother now.

Standing at a Crossroads

Sounds like a song, doesn’t it?

Lately I’ve been feeling kind of stuck. Granted, this has been a slooow month, so I’ve had more time on my hands to reflect on where I’m going and what I want out of this career, but I’m feeling very indecisive. I’m at a crossroads and am not sure which way to go.

I’ve always been indecisive about things that really matter, ask anyone that knows me. For example, we’re getting our house painted this summer and I have literally 10 paint samples painted on the back of our house that I stare at every day and still can’t decide. It’s like the bigger results a decision will yield, the harder time I have making an actual decision. And let’s face it paint color on the exterior of a house is huge – I’ll have to live with it for as long as we live in this house. I was also very indecisive about leaving a full-time job to freelance full-time. This blog is a testament to that. So, it’s no wonder that deciding which direction to take my freelancing career has me really stumped.

Here’s what I’m indecisive about. Where to focus my time – let me explain. I need to make money to maintain my lifestyle. That was my first goal in my freelance writing career. Check that one off the list, I’ve done it and continue to do so. Great! Now that I have that down and know how to continue to do it, there are other things I want to do in addition to sustaining myself on this career. Two of my goals from the beginning have been to write for magazines and to run a successful blog. I have done neither so far, but to be fair, I haven’t focused a lot of my time on either one. Now a new ambition has entered the ring: I want to write a book – a fiction book. So here is my crossroads, where do I start? Do I brainstorm new blog ideas and focus all of my free time on building a following? Or do I study magazines and query, query, query? Or do I forget about all of that and start in on a book?

I’m not going to lie – money does play a role here. As stated above, I need to sustain myself. The fear of failure is also at play. A new blog may never take off, magazines may never pick up my ideas and a book may never sell. I’m pretty sure all three options will take a lot of time before they are profitable and I’ll probably fail several times trying – but which is the most attainable for me? And which of the three do I want the most? That I don’t know and to tell you the truth I really want to try all three even if I’m poor trying them and an utter failure at first.

What about you? Have you ever been at a major crossroads? How did you decide the best way to go?

And then it was Silent….

It’s been a quiet week for me. In fact, I can’t believe its Thursday – I’m really wondering what I have done with my week. After the last few whirlwind months and April being a great financial month, but very busy, suddenly May started and I’ve got nothing. Well not nothing, but a very light workload. It seems most of my regular clients have less work right now which translates to me having less work right now.

I’ve spent most of the week scanning the job boards and finding very little of interest. I’ve managed to drag out the few projects I have been given but still ended up finishing them yesterday. Now it’s Thursday and I have nothing on the agenda for the next two days and next week to be honest – but I’m still holding out hope that stuff will start coming in.

I briefly thought about signing onto Demand Studios and doing a few articles, but that doesn’t sound appealing at all. In a conversation with a friend yesterday it occurred to me that it’s been a long time since I’ve had any free time in my freelance writing life. It also occurred to me that somehow I should spend this time wisely in a way that will positively impact my career. I love my clients and think they are the best, but I realized that I can only get so far and make so much with clients. I need to work on some things in my career that are purely for me and that perhaps can help me be successful in my own right. Some things that I’m interested in are blogging – duh, writing a fiction book and again writing magazine pieces.

Also I decided to dig out the goals I made at the beginning of this year. I’m proud to say I’ve met a lot of them, but I realized that they focus mostly around my clients. Which is great and I want to keep my clients and keep them happy, but I need to do something for myself too. So I’ve revised my goals to add in some personal projects too.

I’m not going to panic about money right now. I’ve had several great months in a row and have things financially in order. What I am going to do is focus on personal projects for a bit. The hard part is figuring out where to start. My plan for today and tomorrow is to explore what direction I want to go and dig in. I’ll let you know how it goes!