Love this one!
After I finished writing my latest novel, I went through a dry spell. The novel I worked on was an emotionally and physically draining project that I have worked on relentlessly for most of 2015. Unfortunately, however, through that entire year, I wasn’t able to finish anything else—except for a screenplay that I co-wrote which is turning out to be a total waste of time but more on that later.
Things were changing. My living situation turned 180 degrees, my savings were running low, bills were piling up and I was unemployed. It’s safe to say, I had a lot to figure out and my writing had a setback.
For months, I looked for ways to make money. I modeled for the most part and I thought I could sustain that lifestyle of working a few days a month in a convention or something, making enough to get by, and writing the rest of the month. It was easier said than done, especially since I wasn’t signed up with an agency and had to look for gigs all on my own. So between searching, applying, going on castings and calls backs, and daily trips to the gym to make it all possible, I had the equivalent of a full-time job without even knowing it. So I decided to sign up with an agency, get employed and try to fit writing into my schedule somehow.
Finding the perfect job was a challenge on its own. Living in Vegas, the natural choice would’ve been for me to work as a cocktail waitress in one of the casinos or bars and since a good job in that industry would earn me a lot of money from tips. But that kind of job would demand a lot of time and physical effort, I doubted I would’ve been able to find the energy to make myself dinner by the time I got home let alone write—and I’m big on making my own dinners, by the way.
It just so happened that my landlady had a friend who worked in the real estate business and they wanted an assistant. I applied and got the job. So now, for four hours a day, five days a week, I process mortgage loans. It’s a boring desk job that requires minimal thinking and offers an annoying boss that goes with it. And it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me as a writer and entrepreneur.
Here’s why. First of all, being that I get off work around 2:00 p.m., I arrive back home at a reasonable hour. It’s crucial to remember that I don’t have a car and a trip that takes 10 minutes in Vegas, takes me at least an hour with the bus. Being home early gives me time to cook, unwind and work out. Since the winter timing, I don’t go to the gym anymore, but I do have time to do at least an hour of exercise daily at home. After that, I have the evening to edit, read and work on an entrepreneurial project which I’ll share with you in due time. Also, since my job isn’t very demanding to begin with, I sneak a little note-taking time during work when my boss is gone or not looking.
“So when do you write?” you ask. Well, in the morning, of course. My work starts at 10:00 a.m., so I wake up at 6, sometimes at 5, write till 8:30, grab a bite and leave my house by 9:15. It’s all planned to the minute. I recently finished a screenplay. By writing two and a half hours in the morning I averaged around 5 pages. Not bad, right? Also, I get weekends off. So if I’m not shooting a movie or commercial or working at some convention, I get a lot of writing done as well.
Oh, and did I mention that I’m now a writing intern for Cliché Magazine? That’s right, I’m their new beauty writer. Add that to my list of tasks. Within a few month, I went from an unemployed girl who had all the time in the world and didn’t know what to do with it, to a girl with three careers, two jobs and a nascent business who is able to take care of all her responsibilities with a little organization and the sacrifice of a few hours of sleep.
It was important for me, being newly-employed and all, not to get discouraged by the relatively slow progress I was making as a writer. Usually, I’m much more prolific. But I had to lower my expectations and put less pressure on myself given the little time I had to accomplish what I wanted.
Another reason why this job has made me a better writer and entrepreneur is because I hate that job so much. God, I hope my boss doesn’t see this; she’s already on the verge of firing me for being “unmotivated”. Yes me. But anyway, that job is boring, monotonous, mentally limiting and I can’t wait to quit. And this dire urge to quit has made me work harder on my writing and other dreams.
So if you have a job that you hate, a passion that you’re hoping to turn into a career, and the will to put the effort to make it happen, all you have to do is find that small time slot every day, however short it is, and get yourself one step closer to where you want to be. How are you guys balancing writing with a job?
It’s crazy how I can take care of most of my responsibilities by using my phone. I blog, network, take care of work and perform business deals and transactions with a few clicks. Naturally, I’m going to need to be able to type faster and save time on deleting words because my brawny fingers hit the wrong letter.
I absolutely love talking to new authors and learning about their journey. Kimberly Michelle Scott is someone I stumbled upon recently and we had a little chat about her new book, The Collection: A Book of Short Stories. Here’s a brief interview with Kimberly.
Q: What is The Collection about?
A: The Collection is a compilation of short stories and flash fiction. The first story, “Ms. Addie’s Place” chronicles the story of Nora, a compelling character with a deep secret, who moves into a boarding house for African American women seeking to better themselves. There she meets Ms. Addie, who runs the house. With a turn of events, her secrets grow, but luckily she has Ms. Addie, who will help her protect her secret at all costs. Below are the premises for some of the other short stories in the book:
Set at a funeral, a young girl struggles to cope with the death of her mother, while contemplating where she will live and how to deal with family members in which she is unfamiliar all while coping with being the black sheep of the family as a striking similarity to her deceased mother.
In the story, “Wide Tooth Comb,” Maggie finds herself in a predicament when she goes to extreme measures to avoid getting her hair combed. The trouble Maggie faces for doing away with her hair comb brings about anxiety that can only be erased by “coming clean” and leaving herself at the mercy of her mother.
Living in the world of underground prostitution and balancing being a high school student is no easy task for the main character in “Kat House.” As she compare her life to her classmates, she draws from only the harsh lifestyle to which she is accustomed. Just when she thinks life could not get any better, she is faced with one last difficulty that just may break her.
Tania resents the fact that her brother basically threw his life away, choosing his girlfriend and a baby over the college and football career that he was destined to have in “Rest in Peace.” More than her brother’s choices, she resents his baby’s mother. While reminiscing about the past, the future of all the characters change one fateful night.
These stories and a host of others will keep you turning pages in The Collection.
Q: What sets it apart from other collections?
A: The Collection is a diverse literary collection in style and content, making it the perfect read for everyone. It has short stories and flash fiction. It has historical fiction, contemporary fiction, horror, and science fiction. However, many of the themes are the same.
Q: How long have you been writing, and what advice would you give other writers?
A: I have been writing since I was about four years old. In Kindergarten, when all the other kids were drawing pictures, I was creating books with words and pictures on my construction paper! I have always loved writing! I would tell other writers to be persistent, follow your heart, and do your research.
About Kimberly Michelle Scott
Kimberly Michelle Scott is an author, poet, and educator from Montgomery, AL. She has written numerous online articles and has several projects in the works. Kimberly has been featured on Chicago’s Poetry Exhale with Pizaaz and was also featured on the Be A Bestseller website. As a previous Yahoo! contributor, she has also done guest blogs. She has received her Bachelor’s degree from Liberty University. Her book, NAKED: A Book of Monologues for African American Women was released Spring 2013. “Moments of HerStory,” a book of memoirs, in which she was featured, was an Amazon bestseller and made # 1 on its Hot New Releases list at #1.
Here is the link to her books:
Visit her website
If you have published any books that you want me to review or you want to promote on my website, please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
I may not be big on resolutions, but I am huge on setting goals and plans and achieving them. And, boy, do I have a long list of these for 2016! One of them is something that I think you guys will enjoy and I’m fighting the urge to announce it. But I can tell you this, it will be ready soon, and it’s going to be cool.
For this particular project, I had to collaborate with a photographer– are you starting to get a sense of what the project may be? No? Okay, good. So anyway, I collaborated with Eric Christopher Jackson who is a writer, poet and photographer.
The cool thing about me working with Eric is that him and I have been following one another on social media and blogs for a couple of years or so now. I even posted a review of his poetry book a couple of years back when I still lived in Lebanon. And to my surprise, when I moved to Vegas, I found out that he lived here too! Small world, huh?
Anyway, check out his blog and some of the photos he took of me. The photos he posted are not related to the project I’m working on, those would be revealed in due time. Hope you guys are having a great week and a wonderful start to the year!