Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What to Do

Two months have passed since I left my employer in Lawton to go out on my own. Leaving without another full-time gig lined up was a gamble, but the job was so detrimental to my health that the decision had to be made — it was them or me. I chose me. The first few weeks off were surreal and, frankly, sublime. As I've said before, having nowhere to be is one of my favorite sensations, and I've been reveling in it. However, it's now time to jump-start the income.

Originally, a few people had some work that they wanted me available to do. This is one of the reasons I made the decision to leave corporate employment when I did. None of those gigs has come to fruition yet, though, so I'm going to have to get creative in finding other avenues to the income. Here are a few of the options that have been bouncing around in my head.

Pro Blog. I've been kicking this option around for a while, but keep running into two related problems: topic and sustainability. To be successful, a blog needs to cover something other people care to read about and be updated frequently. While I've loads to say on a variety of topics, trying to focus on one for a respectable amount of time will be challenging. This blog is fun, but I could not in good conscience monetize it like I could a pro one. Possible topics under consideration at this point include technical writing, telecommuting, life/work balance, and gaming.

Kindle Marketplace. Amazon makes publishing your own work pretty easy, especially for their Kindle e-readers (which are awesome, by the way). I could start with a short story or even document my process for creating great proposal outlines and just go from there. I've already read a bit to catch up with the elements of good short stories seeing as how my last literature class was 20 years ago. Topic is once again an issue here, but the gates are open much wider for fiction, and this type of media is fire and forget from a sustainability standpoint.

Contributing Articles. Many websites post articles from contributing writers, and submitting content to these organizations would be great for keeping my brain engaged. Articles also provide portfolio material for prospective clients and employers without running into confidentiality issues with proprietary documents. Plus, the research required for a good article is fun because it feels like homework, and oh, how I loved school.

None of these options is likely to replace my last income any time soon, but they're great for staying in practice and supplementing my big gigs as they come and go. I'll keep you guys updated as I get things set up and published.

Note: This post was written with the assistance of the spotted cat referenced in the blog title. He's sitting with his rear between my typing hands and his front feet on my stomach. Feline helpfulness is unique.
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