Recently I decided to spend more time on my poetic endeavors.
This September, I will be handing in my first full length collection of Poetry, as the Dissertation component of my MA Creative Writing.
I am also running a series of Poetry Workshops as part of the MA.
Due to all this activity, I decided that it would be a good time to declare myself as
self -employed, and start looking at poetry more as a business.
However, to me that still means working some kind of part-time job too.
As talked about here, I really do believe that having a career aside from poetry or any other creative endeavor, is a beneficial idea.
As a qualified Librarian, my other career of choice will always lie there, and recently I started a new short term post, after having had a couple of months dedicated solely to writing.
I love having a job that allows me time for writing, and yet takes me away from writing.
This is why:
Taking the Pressure off Earning Money.
Those of you who have ever worked for yourself, will know what a challenge it can sometimes be, to receive payment for freelance work.
Invoices issued have to be chased up, and it is not unusual for a couple of months to pass until funds are transferred.
This could make for a lot of stress if you have bills, a mortgage or rent to pay.
Which, let’s face it – most of us do.
Having a predictable and steady income coming in from an employer, really takes the pressure off.
Designated Time for Writing
It also means that your time becomes scheduled.
If you are working three times a week, you know you will therefore have the remaining days left to write.
For a person like me who loves routine, this often results in much more productivity than if I had all the time in the world to write.
Designated time for Not writing
If you are anything like me, you could spend all day staring at a blank page in despair as you struggle to write a poem that’s any good.
You think, that you couldn’t possibly leave it and start something else, in case that moment of inspiration suddenly hits.
Having to be at a job for a certain time, and for certain lengths of time, gives your brain some time off from actively creating.
What then happens, is that you realise how creative you can be in everyday life.
Your Day-Job as Inspiration
This is my favorite point, and one that I get a lot of practice with, working in a Public library, for the first time in 10 years. (I have been working in Academic Libraries for most of my Library career)
Interacting with people from all walks of life on a day to day basis, makes for great poetic ideas.
A public facing role like mine, is gold dust.
The other day, I had a customer start talking about Nuclear War in the same breath as booking a computer.
These everyday eccentricities are some of the things poems are made of.
A while ago I watched the movie Patterson, about a bus driver who writes poems on the go.
This is how I now feel.
I am a writer 24/7. not just at my desk.
(Though I do most of my writing in bed!)
So taking all of this into account, I feel much more comfortable declaring myself as self employed. (Which you can be at the same time as being employed.)
That will be what my next post in this series is about.