When I was laid-off back in April, I had mixed feelings. At first there was a moment of “I HAVE NO JOB! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!”, which luckily soon passed (sustained screaming makes my throat bad-tingle). Once that moment was gone, I realized that my old job had made me…not miserable, that’s too strong. It made me enervated; I would start the day with ideas of the things I would do once I finished work that day, but by the time I got home I was drained. Not that the job (shipping/receiving) was hard, it wasn’t. I was really good at it, which was the only reason I had survived through two prior rounds of lay-offs.
But being good at a job and loving your job are two different things. So while I certainly miss having a job, I don’t miss that job. Because of this, I made the decision to stay on EI for a while, and try my hand at some things I do love. So here is a quick rundown of some of the things I’m working on at the moment:
Freelancing: I officially hung out my shingle today as a “white collar mercenary”, providing editing, data entry and research services on a freelance basis. You can check out my Rate Sheet, hidden under the About Renaissance Dork button above. I think there is a “freelance office worker” niche to be filled for self-publishing authors, small press houses and small businesses that can’t afford a staffing agency. And since I both enjoy and am good at editing and research, and am willing to perform data entry (can anyone be said to enjoy it?), I might as well fit myself into that niche. I am excited about this, and curious what will come of it.
Volunteering for On Spec: I have been a fan of short SF fiction for a real long time, and a fan of On Spec for almost as long (as I talk about here). Shortly after Aluma gave me my walking papers, I contacted Diane and asked if I could help out, maybe read some slushpile stuff that was piling up. She was gracious enough to allow me to do some copy-editing, as well as putting me in charge of the @OnSpecMagazine Twitter feed (which you should follow if you love Canadian SF and cool stuff like that). I’m loving both, but the copy-editing has been the best fun so far. I’m currently editing two stories, and one of them is in my favourite (though somewhat scary) stage, working with the writer. I won’t say any more, other than you will love these stories when they come out!
RPG Writing: Oddly, while this is the one I was most excited to get to work on, it is the one that has stalled the most for me. I’m still working out for myself why that might be, though I know the fault lies with me and not any outside source. But in the meantime I have worked up the second draft of a Pathfinder Society scenario submission, started the second draft of an article to be submitted to Wayfinder Magazine (a fan published/created magazine on Pathfinder), and am picking out three article proposals to send in to Kobold Quarterly. I did complete a paid assignment for a game product coming out soonish, but I don’t know how much I can talk about it prior to it being announced. So let us say I am cautiously optimistic about my future as an RPG writer, and leave it there for now.
The Blog: Well, you’re here, so I don’t really need to explain what this is. I’ve wanted to focus on writing for a while, and the blog is a big part of that. Not only does it give me a chance to sound-off about the geeky things I love so much, it has also helped me form relationships with other bloggers/writers. And as part of my daily writing process, it does two things. First, I can use it to clear out the cobwebs at the start of the day, by banging out a blog entry, freeform (which I later edit and re-write; don’t worry, only the best for you guys!) Second, if I’m stuck on something else I’m writing I just pull up the blog and work on that. At some point that unsticks me, and I can go back to what I was working on. So whatever else happens, the blog is too important for me to give up.
The Sorta Secret Project: Used to be Super Secret, but I couldn’t contain my excitement and told a few people. I’m not going to give away too much…oh, all right. Here are three clues: I’ll still be talking about geeky stuff; I’ll be working with a fellow geek I’m rather fond of; and it will start (as far as you are concerned) in February. Beyond that, my lips are sealed GABBO!
And that is what fills the days and sometimes nights of the Renaissance Dork, padded out with role-playing games, television and the occasional movie. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my life, and hey, tell all your friends about the white collar mercenary thing, eh?
Comments, in perpetuity, below.
7 thoughts on “How I’m Keeping Busy”
Secret Project? Hmmm. I’m guessing Podcast!
Glad to hear you’re taking some ‘you time’ to do what you want to do, rather than what you’ve been told you should do. Good for you!
On Spec appreciates your contribution, Brent! Best wishes with all the projects!
Thanks, Diane! I’m loving it so far!
I hear you on the screaming. I’ve been jobless on purpose (having finished a teaching contract and saved money specifically to wait on getting another job) and I still had moments of ‘AHHHH NO JOB WHAT AM I GONNA DO WHAT AM I GONNA DO!?!?!’ and so on. I’m weird in that having a job, no matter whether I like it or not, actually gives me a lot of oomph to write. Maybe it’s having the structured daily life – go to work, come home, eat dinner, write, do chores.
That’s so cool on the RPG work. I got into a lot of web-based writing RPGs but they were all free form, and always admired the DMs who braved taking on an adventure with us. Same with DnD GMs. Oddly, though I can write a story, I don’t quite understand DMing.
It is true; while DMing is story-telling in a sense, it is a bit different because you have 3-5 characters that also decide what happens. But it is fun, and I love it!
And yes, I have had to impose my own structure to the day. What that seems to involve is making deals with myself; yes, I can watch the latest episode of Alphas on the PVR but first I have to finish editing. And so on…
Sounds like you’re using your time well, Brent. I really admire that. I’m considering taking a couple weeks off after the Clearance Centre is closed, and I hope I use my time at least half as well as you are.
What am I saying? I’ll spend all day on Twitter and Netflix!
Both of those have their own charms. 🙂 And really, none of what I do has kept me away from Twitter or television, in fact it is sometimes the opposite!