Getting a book series ready to self-publish has brought out a lot of anxiety for me. Am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right choices on how to launch it? What if this decision or that decision ruins an opportunity later on down the road?
I feel like I’ve suffered from bad timing with most of my career and financial moves (career and financial are tied in some way, right?). When I started college, job prospects looked promising. I had no reason to assume that things would drastically change by the time it was my turn to job hunt.
Except they did. During my senior year of college, 9-11 happened and then following that horrible event a recession. The next three years I attended graduate school and watched as each year became more and more grim. Graduates from my program had more and more difficulty finding full time work locally. Prospects were not only slim, the market turned hostile. Also, cue No Child Left Behind, which brought some much needed standardization across states, but had a lot of flaws that left Special Ed services in flux.
It wasn’t the best time to enter the field. Yet, I managed it anyway. Despite my professors telling me I’d have done better in another decade, I managed to cut out a career for myself, but it was not without struggles. I was budget cut from two jobs, and although they did what they could to keep me in some capacity it was still hard. Ultimately, and unrealistically I blame myself. Like I could have controlled the economy?? Part of me wondered if it was just an excuse (the government and union employment standard of first-hired, first-to-go or be lowered to part-time) and if I’d been more stellar in some way they would have kept me.
And always hearing the mantra of “If this was a different time you would be that employee we’d have been excited to have hired and looked forward to years of working with you, but alas, this is not that decade.”
My husband and I bought our house at the peak of the housing market, right before the crash. So we paid an inflated price for it. Everyone loves to talk about their amazing deal on their zillion square foot home and we have a very modest and lovely house that I’m happy to own, but we definitely over paid. Except it was what houses were going for in the market at that time. We had no idea of the impending housing crash or we would have waited a few years.
(Although we did get a fixed mortgage, so we didn’t have to deal with the lending fiasco that so many of our friends did who had other types of loans).
I worry that this will be the case with my writing career. That is was not a good time for *me* to become a writer. Maybe perfect for someone else with different qualifications, but not me.
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but if I were it would be to be a little braver and not worry so much about timing. Just do. I can’t control economics, or the stock market. I can’t control buyer’s preferences. But I can control me and my decisions. If they were poorly timed, then at least I tried and one day that risk will pay out. I’m one of those people who believes luck is hard work meets opportunity.
I can’t help but to be superstitious about it though and it’s the Year of the Monkey, and I’m a Monkey. Not in real life mind you. I was talking about the Chinese Zodiac. Not in a “nobody knows you’re a monkey on the internet kind of way.” Anyway, year of monkey for a monkey–I thought it might mean something good and when I looked it up, it does! This is supposed to be my year for a major career risk that works in my favor. My horoscope says the same thing. Heck, I even asked the Magic 8 Ball online and it says “It is decidedly so.”
So, maybe for once my career timing is finally in tune.