Damn the Man,  SoCal,  This is Me,  Writing

Just Say No

This isn’t a real post, FYI. This is me coming up for air. Gulp.

I once saw the biggest opportunity…

When I first got laid off, my plan was to be open to possibilities. I am of a cautious nature, and don’t take a whole lot of risks. Burned before? Yes, many a time. I am an expert in the field of chances not paying off. It was sort of my major in college.

But when I got laid off and started freelancing, I began saying yes. Why not do everything I’ve always wanted to do? I had time. Perhaps it would bolster my resume. It sure couldn’t hurt it.

So I started doing All The Things.

At the beginning, a friend gave me gentle caution. “Don’t spend too much time on unpaid work,” she warned when she saw me overloading my plate like any self-respecting American at a buffet.

By the time she gave me that advice though, it was too late. I was committed up the wazoo. And I take my commitments seriously, yo.

So since then, I’ve been working. A lot. Like, sunup to bedtime. Plus weekends. Some of it’s paid writing; most of it’s unpaid. It’s fun, fulfilling work, which is great. Fantastic, even. The only thing is…

I need to earn more money. Bitchez gotta eat, you know? And there are pets depending on me to support their eating habits. Lazy animals, why don’t they get a job?

Plus I have that fourteen year old car burning oil in my driveway, which probably needs a new whatzijigget or engine; I’m not a mechanic. And you can’t live in L.A. without a car, they kick you out. I mean, public transportation is an urban fantasy here, more of a nice idea than a reality. “Oh, wouldn’t be nice if we had reliable public transit?” said no Southern California city planner ever.

Then there’s also the fact that I sat down to write a blog post and felt zero creativity. There just isn’t enough time to cultivate any.


Oh yeah, and that novel that’s so important to me? I haven’t touched it since mid-November. I want to be a novelist, and I’m not working on my novel? That makes zero sense. And I’m supposed to be spending a certain amount of time drumming up new freelance jobs, but that’s been moved to the back burner in view of all the deadline-oriented fires I’ve been putting out. This kind of stuff needs to take priority, Natalie.

I don’t know exactly what to do about this situation. I love everything I’m working on, and would be loathe to part with any of it. But now, I need to learn to say no to things I love.

Generally, “no” is not a problem for me. People ask me to do things I say no to all the time.

Do you want to go back to work in an office? No!

Would you be interested in balancing this checkbook for me? No!

Maybe you should become a dental hygienist! They make such good money. No!

Do you want to go to Disneyland with me? No!

(I’m not a sourpuss, I just don’t have the hundreds of dollars it now costs to visit the magic kingdom.)

See? “No” itself isn’t a problem for me.

Just the “nos” that I want to be “yeses.”

Finish the Sentence Friday

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