Everything Comes at a Price

If it were easy to make choices, everyone would do it

Lisa Dexter

--

Photo by Sudarshan Bhat on Unsplash

It’s been too long since I published anything. Weeks seemed to disappear in minutes until over a month had vanished. My plans didn’t stand a chance against reality.

Best laid plans

I had it all mapped out last fall. I would continue to homeschool my daughter Amelia, try to ramp up my online writing time with an eye toward breaking into markets that paid better than what I could earn collecting cans on the highway, and work on getting healthier so I could have a knee operation. I figured I could balance it all while dealing with household responsibilities and an energy-zapping chronic illness by compartmentalizing each task and leaving pockets of rest time. Life wasn’t perfect, but I was limping along — no pun intended.

I abandoned my seemingly futile job search to put my work-related energy toward freelance writing. I started publishing on my website and other sites that offered negligible pay at best but let me flex my writing muscles, and I planned to find my way to paying clients, but I stalled out. I’d begun to harbor doubts about my ability to successfully break into freelancing when I received an email from someone who’d seen a recommendation my former boss posted about me. He needed a writer and editor on a contract basis, and while I wasn’t looking for long-term contract work, a bird in the hand is worth a heck of a lot more than two in the bush when you can’t even locate the shrubbery. The hours were flexible, the pay was good, the CEO was fantastic, and the company was promising, so I signed on with them. While this was, and still is, an excellent decision, it left me with a new dilemma.

Everything can’t be first

Many of my priorities have little to no flexibility — can’t tell my achy joints to come back tomorrow or put my child on ice for a few days, after all — so my new contract was carving time from the one place it could: writing. The result was that every time I wrote something that wasn’t connected to work, it felt like I was being frivolous. Similarly, if I was working on contract-related tasks, I felt like I was turning my back on anything else writing-related. This pattern continued for a couple of months until I…

--

--

Lisa Dexter

I am a freelance writer from the Chicago area. I have one awesome child, one sweet husband, one clingy cat, and one website: www.thinkingwhiletyping.com.