Reality is Terrifying

November 22, 2008

The pro bono project is still sitting on my desk. I have not developed my very (very) basic understanding of Dreamweaver into something useful–like a website. My lunch date tripped over her dog and was in the hospital getting forehead stitches during our scheduled slot. Then other disasters struck in her life and we still haven’t rescheduled.  I spent two weeks (my last post was the midpoint) panicking about everything, then stopped.

On the upside, I still have a home office, the web content I wrote remains written, and I have made progress on the training manual. And I stopped panicking. After I stopped, I called a writer I have never spoken to before (though I’ve had her number in my phone for over two years) and offered to buy her lunch. On Friday, my unfortunate dog-owning colleague wanted to know why I hadn’t called the other writer she suggested, whose number I have had for over a month now (answer: I am a chickensh*t).

But I’m on a roll. I talked to a friend who gave notice two weeks ago. He’s going solo with substantial obligations at home. How did he do it? He decided to view fear as exhilarating, and exercise a lot of faith. It seems worth trying. I bought a book: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I read it cover to cover in about 1.5 hours, then surprised the heck out of my fiance by completely ignoring him so I could focus on my writing. He hasn’t seen me do that since… ever? Then the writer I don’t know called me back. Not only is she willing to accept food in exchange for information about the freelance writing life, and how she got started, she even mentioned putting me in contact with People. Twice. I have no idea who People is, but I definitely want to talk to him, her or them. Maybe they like lunches, too.

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Starting

November 8, 2008

I have a lunch date set for Monday. I have a website and a very (very) basic idea of how to make it work. I have a home office. I have a pro bono project on my desk right now, and the training manual for my current position waiting at the office. There is real, live web content up on http://www.fusion451.com, and I wrote it.

This is starting to feel a little bit real.

A Lady Who Lunches

November 2, 2008

Last winter, I watched a teacher friend irritate her husband (who commutes an hour each way) by cheering when she learned the next school day was canceled due to snow. The phone rang; it was another teacher. As she skipped out of the room, he called after her in falsetto: “You wanna go to lu-u-unch?” Later, she and I joked that when we were both stay-at-home moms, we’d be Ladies Who Lunch– idle women who have nothing better to do than make lunch dates with each other. This is a fantasy, of course; we’ll have kids to take care of, and I doubt I’ll be the only one running a small business on the side.

All the same, lunches are great and I’m glad my boss was generous enough to grant me extra time there if I need it for my business. I might be putting that long lunch hour to use soon. I applied for a gig: interviewing a WWII veteran and writing up his memoirs. I’ll keep you posted. Also on the lunch front: I’ll be attending an Election Day party this week. The host is a professional writer (technical and freelance marketing), and I’m pretty sure at least one of his other guests will be, too. If all goes well, I’ll be buying lunch and picking brains at least twice in the near future.

I’m hoping they’ll be willing to tell me about how they got started in their writing careers. If you have advice on this topic, post in the comments! Or send along a writing friend to do the same. Thanks!