Ch-Ch-Changes: My New Job and New Writing Routine

I guess that if you’re a regular reader of this blog, then the first change you’ve noticed is that I no longer post on Mondays. Now Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be blog post days, and that’s not “just because”. I started a new job last week, and as I write this I have only just finished my training shifts. But what does this mean for my writing? Obviously, I’m not giving it up. And I’m not just talking about the blog. I’ve only just published my second short story collection, and collection number three is in the works, but I had to make some lifestyle changes if I wanted to be able to have enough time and energy to publish beyond that.

Ever since losing my former job as a result of the pandemic, I have been working as a freelance transcriptionist in order to get by. That kind of work was fantastic for allowing me the flexibility to get back to prioritizing my physical and mental health, but it also allowed me the freedom to pursue becoming a self published author. And although I will still take on the odd freelance project here and there, relying on that kind of work as my main source of income no longer serves me. Yes, I’m making a little bit of money as an author, but I know that it will take time to be able to earn a proper living doing what I love. In the meantime, I need something that offers stability without taking away my freedom. I want work that is more reliable than freelance transcription, but I don’t want to sacrifice my hard-earned writing/publishing time.

Mark’s pep talk on the day of my job interview included comparing me to Grimlock

On a whim, I applied to work as a part time receptionist at a local tattoo studio – and I got the job! Now I finally have a stable source of income and a schedule that allows me to continue to work as an indie author. But that’s not all. Like many others, the lack of regular social activity has taken its toll. Even an introvert like me needs to be around other people from time to time. And now I get a few days a week to meet clients and work with awesome co-workers. And what’s even better is that all of this new socialization will get those creative juices flowing. I mean, I’m a horror writer and now I get to spend my days around needles – the possibilities are endless!

But even though the people are fantastic and the job is everything I needed it to be, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Obviously, there is the normal anxiety of starting a new job, and the newfound anxieties of going out to work during a pandemic, but that’s not the worst of it. That’s right, you guessed it – it has to do with the cats. We got Finn and Bubs shortly before the start of the pandemic, and although this situation is nothing new for Max and Minerva, the younger boys are not used to me being out of the house for so long.

It’s so strange not being around these little dorks all day anymore

Bubs still tolerates me in his own special way, showing affection only when necessary, but even he has been watching my comings and goings with more interest. Finn, on the other hand, has been having a harder time. Thanks to his separation anxiety, he’s taken a little more time to adapt to the new situation. I’ve gotten everything from the cold shoulder to extreme snuggles from him. And the other day, Mark texted me to say that Finn was trashing my at-home desk while I was out at work. Thankfully, my Transformers are still intact.

So although change can be scary and anxiety inducing, I think good things will come of this. I adore my co-workers, and everyone has been so welcoming and supportive as I stumble my way through my training, and through that all important first shift on my own. And now this increased structure and stability in my life will give me more time and energy to write and publish more stories.

Here’s to a great start to 2022! I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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