I can explain.
One of the three Q3 goals I had was to publish a blog post every week. It’s been exactly a month since I did, and while it shouldn’t be a coincidence that it was a full moon then, and a full moon now, cyclical anythings still stump me. I bet you’re thinking, “Now she’s going to rattle on about how in the month since, she’s achieved her two other Q3 goals, and that that will somehow atone for the lack of consistent publication on her blog in the last four weeks.”
You’re not wrong, but as we near the end of Q3, I can only remember one other goal; to hit the $1000/ monthly earnings, which I slayed this month. I still remember the first $500 I earned on Upwork, and here I am finally making approximately the same amount as I would be if I was working as a house officer in the hospital, pulling a fraction of the hours, from the comforts of my home, and yes - all without pants.
As much as I want to say, “But this isn’t all about the money!” in some ways, it is, and saying otherwise would be a lie, and therefore, an inaccurate documentation of my journey. The truth is paramount to whatever it is I’m trying to do here, so let me be honest. Over the past month, I’ve chosen to clock in hours rather than write, and I had various conversations attempting to troubleshoot why, the most striking answer being that because I don’t have an audience that expects anything from me, I will never feel compelled to show up for them.
Two weeks ago, when I disclosed my struggles to my roommate, I expected them to give me a necessary dose of tough love. Instead, they said something that still speaks to me.
“The thing is Seetha, everyone is afraid of failure, but they focus too much on the outcome instead of the effort they’re putting in. Ask yourself, in serving your work, are you doing your best right now? Because that’s the only consolation if it turns out that you do fail, that you did your very best.”
I thought about that for a long time, and realised what happened that made me choose to see increasing clocked hours rather than increasing subscriber counts. One is so obviously easier than the other! How? There comes a point in which the money-making part of freelance writing becomes predictable and automatic. I'll explain this in another post, but you get into a rhythm of looking for jobs, saving the ones that look interesting, crafting a competent proposal, pitching your relevant previous work etc. I have tabs on my browser that make this a seamless process. I worked hard and put in the hours, and without realising, built a system that runs on quite little effort.
If I viewed my job proposals as blog posts, I'd have written about a hundred by now, and I only started at the end of May. Why is writing here any different than writing there? Why are there feelings of shame and guilt associated with putting myself out there (which is a rather necessary component of what I am doing)? Maybe if I can unblock this, I can finally step out of my comfort zone, and show up to do the work. When you create something out of nothing purely for the purposes of telling a story, which is what all art aims to achieve I believe, what does success look like, and how does one measure it, let alone attain it?
Did I lose sight of the point I was trying to make? Have I lost the wind to continue telling my story? Did so much happen in the last month that the overwhelm tossed me in a hurricane that uprooted all of my dreams? Have I become a wallflower of my own making? With September’s full moon upon us, I wanted to share so much about the third mysterious Q3 goal, about my housemanship progress, about my relationship with social media, about how to make to-do lists that work for you and not against you, about why I like to create my goals in sets of threes, and the irony when one goal keeps you from achieving another.
Instead of doing any of that, I will do something else. I will make my promise public, in that I will publish a blog post every week. I don’t know how I am going to pull this off, but I have a few ideas, and a renewed faith in my abilities backed by my freelance writing... success. If by the end of 2021, I keep my word, I will even tell you how I did it.