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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Balance is Better

"Don't moonlight, it ruins your life"

I received a reply on Twitter in response to a question I asked that basically read, "how do you unwind and prepare yourself for a second shift of writing after your day job?"

Some people responded that they exercise. Other people responded that they meditate. One person blatantly said that channeling your energy after having a hectic day was the best way to prepare for doing work after you've finished your day shift, but that he also doesn't recommend doing any work when you go home.

My first instinct to such a reaction is, well it would be nice if I didn't have to freelance and find side jobs, but unfortunately the balance of my finances depends on making extra money here and there to offset unexpected expenses. I am also determined that no matter what happens in my life, no matter where I am or what my personal situation is, I will become the best writer than I can possibly be and I can only do that with constant practice.

Eventually I'd like a job where I plan communications and marketing as well as write and edit for a living. These jobs are hard to come by and are very competitive, but not having a portfolio and some experience behind me will ensure that I never get a chance to have the career of my dreams.

I know I get tired and irritable when I'm working all the time. But have you ever seen the ear to ear smile on my face or the deep sigh of relief I let out when I finish a piece that I've slaved over in the remaining hours of my waking days? If you've seen me that happy after busting my ass to finish a project, you'd probably agree with me that it's worth the trouble.

I'm meaning to read the book "The 4-Hour Work Week." The person who attempted to discourage me from moonlighting mentioned this book as his inspiration for working less. I bought that bought along with "Career Renegade" and haven't been able to get to them yet.

The concept of working less and making more money is great, so hopefully that's what the book is trying to sell. But, if it's basically trying to convince me to cut corners and do some sort of scam-type bullshit that is lucrative so that I can have more free time to go bird-watching or do yoga, he can keep his message.

I'm at a point in my life where work is very important to me. I'm young enough and (what I think to be) enlightened enough where I don't place value in much else besides my relationships and my own self-reliance. I place more weight on the future of what I can build with my career, with my hands and with my mind. Family is important too as well as being able to relax someday. BUT, I want to work. If you offered me the chance, right now, to either retire comfortably or have the dream job I've always wanted and have to bust my ass, I'd chose the dream job and I really mean that.

"I'll lay my boots to rest when I'm impressed. So, I triple knotted 'em and forgot 'em."~Aesop Rock

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