I don’t have a regular job, or anything resembling what most people think is a job. My work starts when I wake up and ends when I set the phone beside my bed and finally fall asleep. I don’t work a set amount of hours — I can’t. I write between diaper changes and cooking hot dogs for lunch, washing bottles, and sinks full of dirty dishes.
I’m an online writer and 24/7 father and husband.
I write many different things, depending on the day and time. Not only do I write on Medium — where the goal I sometimes achieve is to publish twice a day — but I have both free and premium newsletters. Other writers will agree that you can’t force creativity, and there is a whole lot of prep work involved to write multiple times a day. There is also everything else involved in being an online writer like editing, proofreading, research, marketing, promotion, social media, and a huge amount of reading.
To produce all that material, I need to be feeding my brain with books, blogs, videos, podcasts, pop culture websites, news, and even music, which helps keep my creative mind primed and ready.
I have an enormous amount of work I must complete if I want to hit my goals and continually grow financially so I can keep supporting my family.
But this is only my second most important job.
I am first a father. I am always a husband. If my wife asks me to do something, or I see something that absolutely cannot wait, I will complete it before I do any writing. My family comes first before anything else.
But this is a problem.
I’m starting to realize that this is not sustainable. I figured this out recently when my body and mind broke down and I experienced a terrible psychotic episode that lasted a week. I couldn’t manage any writing and my wife and kids suffered because I wasn’t well. I don’t know if the reason I had the episode was that I’ve been pushing myself too hard lately.
But the problem doesn’t end there. I’m finding that I need to spend more time writing, and I don’t know where I am supposed to get the time. Like everyone else, I only have 24 hours. What has to suffer for me to get the time I need to push my earnings higher?
Yeah. My overall problem is money. Time is important only as a way to get more money.
I don’t like that I am so focused on money but I am in dire straits. It’s only a matter of time before Trump and the GOP succeed in kicking most of us on Social Security Disability to the curb as they did with the SNAP recipients. I still rely on SSDI because I can’t keep a job with my psychosis and episodes of depression and anxiety.
I’m not making enough on Medium yet to cover for the loss of Social Security if it goes away, so I need to be doing everything I can to make more money to support my family.
So this leaves me in a very tricky situation. Do I ignore my wife and kids so I can work more on my writing and make money, or do I ignore what I need to do to make my writing profitable on focus on the family?
After a conversation with my wife this morning, I may have an answer. She wishes she could work less and spend more time with the kids. This situation is good because I have the opportunity to make more money if she could take some of my duties and I could spend more time on the computer. Her hourly rate is lower than mine so it makes sense.
If I didn’t have to sit with a fussy but lovable baby for 6 hours a day, I could spend the time doing what I need to be doing with my writing and everything that goes with it. If my wife could take care of a few of the other things I have to do, I would have more time as well.
I’m not planning on disappearing — I will still be here to help and do my share. But I’ll be treating my writing more like a job and trying to avoid so many interruptions.
I have to admit it feels like I’m selfish, adding all these extra duties to my wife. I’m used to always being available. I’m used to sacrificing my work time to take care of the family, and it’s going to be a bit strange focusing on writing instead.
But I know I’ll get over it. I have to. I have to step up and figure out a way to make more money so I’m not at the mercy of Trump, the GOP, and their crooked ways.
As crappy as it feels to say it, I have to be spending more time working — away from my wife and family.
Sometimes, you must do it for the good of everyone.
This story was not curated. If you write and publish on Medium, you know what that means — a quick death. If not, it just means that it won’t be promoted to other readers on Medium.
But it doesn’t always have to be like this, and this is where I add value to your life. It works like this:
We all write free content for Medium. They don’t pay for it. The money we pay to be members is more than enough to pay the writers who are making money. In return for us writing millions of words of free content and paying the writers who engage with the readers (us again), Medium forbids us from adding any more than a simple text link to the bottom of posts to promote ourselves.
If you do everything right, you get curated.
I have no problem with that. I’ve been with Medium for over a year-and-a-half, and I absolutely fricking love that they gave me a platform to earn and share my writing. I tell everyone I know to join Medium and start writing.
But, if I don’t get curated, my stories die. I don’t earn. The only traffic I get comes in is from Google, and if the people they are sending are not Medium subscribers, I don’t get paid.
But Medium benefits greatly. Every time we bring eyeballs onto the platform, Medium gains authority and in turn, members. They also get income from writers paying them for exposure by featuring them in publications and other places on Medium, even if they aren’t members. It’s a great business model.
I thank Medium for giving me the platform, and I respect them, especially when they curate me and my stories live on.
So Medium, I love you, and if you curate me, I will follow the rules and only put a small text link to my newsletter at the bottom.
But, if I am not curated, I am going to use my work to promote myself and my brand.
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