I went out a couple weekends ago to meet up with a friend and have a rare girl's night out. I also ran into a friend I have known in real-life for a long time. Even though I met one friend through blogging and the other is from my pre-blog life, the subject of my blog came up with both friends. I found myself feeling uncomfortable talking about it or bragging about it. When I blog, I am sharing my life pretty openly, with some filters but it seems like someone that can do that can also hold a conversation about it. Instead, I blushed and felt somewhat embarrassed. Like, "Holy shit, they have been reading my blog and probably think I am silly or weird." I didn't know what to say!
Then I was asked if I thought about doing this full-time. Like blogging, drawing and taking photos of cats. I guess blogging is sort of a second job. It's something I do every day and had afforded me certain opportunities but it doesn't have health insurance benefits or a monthly paycheck. That is what my real job is for. There is something I like about working 40 hours a week and having that stability. When I leave the office, I don't think about it until it's time to go back the next morning or Monday. I am somewhat certain that eventually we will have paid off all our debt and I will retire one day.
But my friends saw me quitting my full-time job and becoming self-employed. I guess that is the popular thing to do. I have seen lots of e-courses on it and definitely admire the people that are able to do it. But I have never seriously considered it for myself. I laughed off the question and exclaimed how funny it was that they both asked me the same night the same question. It was hard to picture myself taking that kind of risk.
I had to explain that while I keep busy blogging and doing commissions here and there, most of the compensation can't be put in my bank account. Some of it is paid in feelings - getting to express myself, experiment with creativity, document my everyday life, share with people that can relate, and a community and friendship with my readers. I promote my blog and support other blogs. I am grateful when someone recognizes what I am doing here or mentions me. But there has been plenty of times when I have had to put on the brakes and turn things down. I was either feeling overwhelmed at the time or didn't want to commit. So I guess I could be selling myself more or doing more if I really wanted to. I am not so sure that would make a difference.
How much does this world need an almost 30, plus size cat-lady that doodles on her iPad, wears too many cardigans and talks about her hair? Is there a market for that? My friends seemed to think so. I am not sure if I am presenting an illusion that I am more important than I really am, or selling ad space like hotcakes or that those fucking affiliate links make more than the $1.17 I've made so far. I should have really asked. Instead I shied away from the subject and left it in the back of my mind to ponder over in the coming weeks. Because that is how an introvert's brain works. I am sometimes incapable of a reaction until I have processed it over first.
But I have been trying to process it. Trying to imagine what kind of project I could start that would be worthy of my flimsy existence of a self-employed person. I thought about artwork. I don't see myself as an amazing artist but feel like I have a certain eye and talent that translates into a lot of things I do. Okay, nothing there. Unless an iPad art gallery opens up down the street and a millionaire takes a liking to hanging cartoon-style portraits of strangers on their wall. I like to write. I have fucking horrible grammar though. But I guess that someone could proof-read for me.
So I have been thinking about writing a book or e-book. Trying to decide what it would even be about or what direction I would take. What kind of changes I would have to make so that I could have the time to write. I could certainly still blog. But would probably have to take a break from commissions, guest posts, reviewing stuff, etc. There would be late nights writing. It would take a while. A year maybe? I could do everything myself. Share my process here. These are the kinds of thoughts I have. The creative and technical details. I would draw my own cover and design my book. But do I have to get some sort of special copyright protection? Wow, I don't even know what in the hell I would be writing about and I am thinking way ahead of myself.
I know that I would write something that I would want to read myself. And damn, I am a picky reader. I would definitely want to try and fill a gap. Write something unique and missing in the books out there already. A memoir would be unrealistic and boring. A self-help or motivating book seems like the right direction. But I don't want people to think that I think I am an expert or be responsible for misunderstood guidance. But fiction seems like it comes from another galaxy and not from my brain. I am no great story-teller. And this is where my thoughts end right now as I am typing up this blog post. Does writing a book sound crazy? All kinds of people write books and I can almost see myself as one. I have heard before that if it doesn't scare the shit out of you then you shouldn't do it, because it isn't challenging you. Well, if I do this, I may need to start wearing adult diapers.