Update: I’ve found a space and hope to have a new business address by early next week. My best friend, who is also my decorator, and I went out looking for furniture yesterday. I’m still in a major time crunch — and stressed out — but at least things are moving forward.
Those of you who follow my blog(s) are probably wondering where the heck I’ve been. Or maybe not, but let’s pretend, shall we? You see, I’ve been off learning some basic but important business lessons.
I try to keep my day job and writing lives separate, so this is a rare post when I talk about both. I’m in the mental health field and have my own practice, which I’m in the process of moving closer to home. If you’re not familiar with Atlanta, going from 15 miles to 1.5 miles should reduce my commute from 35+ minutes each way (60+ at peak times) to 5-10 minutes. However, moving an office, and especially a practice, takes a lot of time and mental energy, especially while trying to work full-time until I physically make the move in September.
So, the business lessons, which could also translate to writing lessons:
Number One: Trust No One; Get Everything in Writing
Okay, maybe this sounds a little cynical, but bear with me. When I was planning this move, I entered into an informal agreement with a colleague that we would split a three-person office space with the idea of splitting costs and lowering them even further when we’d get a third person in there. If it wasn’t going to work for either of us, the other would understand. My mistake: we didn’t put a time limit on the agreement, so when we got to the point of choosing between two finalists last week, she bailed. It’s not so much that she decided not to lease space with me, it’s that she made that decision when I’m in a time crunch.
So here I am, seven weeks out from the end of my current lease, and no space because I can’t afford what we were looking at on my own. Oh, and did I mention that my commercial real estate guy was out of town until Tuesday? Part of my brain has been in constant panic since she “dumped” me.
The writing correlates are obvious.
Number Two: Don’t Get Too Comfortable
The untimely exit of my potential business partner was likely a blessing in disguise. I had gotten “comfortable” in my current situation to the point that I was happy with my client load and had essentially stopped marketing. I’d also put on hold the dream of opening and expanding a practice focused on my sub-specialty. If she hadn’t bailed on me, I may have ended up in a similar stagnant situation.
The writing correlates are twofold. First, all those rejections I’ve gotten just mean that my stories and novels haven’t ended up in the right hands yet. Second, I can’t let myself get “comfortable” with just doing #fridayflash (on Twitter) or serial fiction*, or limit myself genre-wise. I need to remember to enjoy and experiment because that’s what this writing stuff is all about. I should also get back to the risk-taking and submission process.
So, please forgive me if I haven’t been posting a lot here or on the Random Oenophile blog. Life is a bit overwhelming at the moment, but should settle down soon — my real estate guy sent me diagrams for a couple of promising spaces today. In the meantime, here’s some chocolate mousse:
* Don’t worry, I will post the second part of the Monument Minders next Tuesday. I somehow missed the #TuesdaySerial collector thing when I posted the first chapter, so P.J. suggested I re-post that one this week and mark it as a debut.