Sunday, August 24, 2008


I have started making very detailed budget spreadsheets. Actually, I started making them in July when it became evident that I really was going to work as a freelance writer for a living. I just finished (well...I'm one week away from finishing) month one of my budget sheet and I feel really proud of myself. I estimated my income really accurately and I was a super good girl about frivolous spending this month.

I even managed to put a chunk of money into my savings and IRA accounts, buy some clothes, attend an obnoxiously expensive rugby reunion, and still come in under budget on my expenses. It feels really, really good to look at that long list of income ($100 for an article here, $225 for something else there, $73.27 for a newsletter) and see how they all add up to a living wage. I am like an actual, real person with a job. I have a job and a balanced budget. I don't have to worry about what I'll do when I grow up, because I suppose I've grown up and started doing it.

The only thing keeping me up late right now is the dip in the work wave. Just like the month of June, I am facing a September with no assignments despite a lot of hustle on my end. I am planning to use the spare time really working on my teaching and hoping that either the magical work fairies wake up soon or that, just like in July and August, the phone starts ringing incessantly with editors on the other end of the line.

My goal for September is different than my goals were for the summer months of writing. This time, my goal is to not obsess. I've done a lot of really hard ground work and spent a lot of time getting my name out there. I just need to be patient and have faith in my own hard labor. This month, I will not grind my teeth or play "what if." Nor will I chase down Peggy the Mail Carrier each day to see if she comes bearing checks (sometimes it startles her when she sees me hiding behind the screen door as she slips mail in our box).

I will be calm, cool, and collected. Seriously. No over reacting at all.