Good News and Bad News: Why I’ve Been Absent

Hello, long-suffering readers who by now are possibly wondering if I’ll ever return! There’s good news: I’ll soon be back.

Also good news: the reason I’ve gone missing from the blogosphere is because I got a job! It’s an awesome job. It’s with a progressive, grassroots non-profit that does things like help press for universal healthcare and other social justice causes. They fought for the minimum wage rise in Seattle, and currently are working to get minimum wage raised throughout the state. After I’ve been there a bit longer and am comfortable with details, I’ll tell you all about who we are and what we do.

This is me hard at work:

Image shows me standing by a tree, with a street and buildings visible in the sunshine behind me. I've got my tan Mount St. Helens hat on. I'm holding petitions that say "Yes on I-1491. Save Lives. Empower Families."
Moi with petitions for a really awesome gun control measure.

(In case you’re a Washington resident and you’re wondering: yes. If someone thrusts a petition for I-1491 in your face, and you are one of those folks who wants to do something that will cut down on domestic violence homicides and mass shootings, sign this. It’ll help take guns out of the hands of people who’ve told their families they’re either going to shoot them or someone else. We’re circulating that one and one for protecting vulnerable people like seniors and people who need in-home care from identity theft. Great causes!)

Bad news: it’s super physically demanding, and my body is in no way willing to accept this without shrieking. Everything hurts. My brain is so busy processing pain that it can’t process words during the week. Part of that’s because I went from nearly 100% sedentary writer to 100% pacing the sidewalk all day. So I’m on concrete, in some locations they don’t allow me to move around much (which for me is hella worse than walking), and it’s eight damn hours of really intense physical exertion.

Part of this will get better once I’m in better shape. Part of it will improve when we stop petitioning and return to canvassing. But I’ve got arthritis in my lower back, and apparently it’s also moving into other joints, so there’s a limit to how much improvement I’ll see. My body has also always been very weird about pressure, and my muscles get fatigued easily even when they’re in tip-top shape, so I can tell you from experience that only a fraction of the pain problems will resolve with further activity. So that means after work and on my first day off, right now I’m basically unable to do much more than lie around recovering.

Needless to say, this has cut my writing time in more than half. I’ve gone from writing two posts or chapters per day to being lucky to manage two in a week, and as for typing up what I’ve already written, well, that requires sitting up with the laptop, something I’m currently too exhausted to do most days. I’ll recover much more quickly once I’ve been at this for a few weeks, probably, but it’s still going to have a significant impact on my writing output.

To start with, they want me to do four days a week. I’d asked for three, and they said that would be fine after a while. So when I go back to work on Tuesday, I’m going to discuss cutting back to what I originally asked for, because this job wasn’t meant to tank my freelance career, and they’re aware of that. They seem like really great and flexible folks, and I’m hoping this works out, because I actually like the work I’m doing. I can go home at the end of the day feeling like I’ve done good in the world. People even thank me for pestering them to sign petitions! It’s pretty awesome. And when openings come up in the call center portion of the org, I can move into work that’s more suitable for my decrepit old body, but still go home with my soul intact.

However, just in case, I’m interviewing for an office job this afternoon. I love the work I’m doing, but honestly, I love my freelancing more. Writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do with my life. I wish I could do it full time. But even if I have to have a day job to pad my income, I’m determined not to let that day job take over and crush writing out of my life.

What this means for all of you is that I’ll probably be a lot less consistent for a few weeks while I try to adapt and establish a new routine. Books will be delayed. Posts may not materialize on time. I hope it’s only temporary, but with my writing time cut back, I may have to cut a few days out of blogging so that I can actually write books.

If you want to see me writing more stuff on a regular basis, the best way to do that is to support this blog financially. And, considering I won’t get paid for several weeks and I’m behind on rent and other bills, a little help from my readers would definitely not go amiss. If you can afford to help out and want to support the work I do, please consider donating.

This will help me keep my hours low enough to write productively, catch up on bills, and buy the things I need for work as I’m waiting to get paid. Things like, y’know, massive amounts of ibuprofen and better insoles and stuff.

Thank you for bearing with me, my darlings! And thank you so very, very much for helping me do nothing but write for nearly two years. I’m grateful for you every single day.

Good News and Bad News: Why I’ve Been Absent

2 thoughts on “Good News and Bad News: Why I’ve Been Absent

  1. rq

    Extremely pleased for you on the job (and job prospects).
    I would say give your body time to adjust to the physical aspects, but from what you say, even that won’t be much improvement. :/
    Anyway, well done on having found something that you enjoy (even with the physical costs), and I hope that the experience, no matter how long or short, will be enriching in the long run!

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