Ten or so years ago, had you asked me what I wanted to do, I’d have answered ‘Writing’. I did the temping that paid for the journalism course, did the course, got the first (terrible) job in journalism, moved onto the second, got promoted…and kind of fell out of love with it all. It wasn’t the writing, it was the media world surrounding it, where I was a fish out of water, far too shy and rubbish at networking to succeed.
So, instead of a sideways move into PR or something similar, I jacked it all in and retrained as a primary school teacher. Suddenly I was a fish in water (I know, I don’t think that’s a real saying either). I loved it. Never looked back to journalism, unless it was when I was writing press releases to promote the school, or teaching newspaper writing in Literacy lessons.
All was great, then, until the world’s finances went belly up, DH lost his job, we moved up here for his new job so I had to give up my old teaching job, DD arrived and…now that I’m looking to go back to my beloved teaching I find myself with no connections in a part of the country where teaching jobs are few and competition is fierce.
Amid the gloom of job-searching, though, there’s been an unexpected development. A friend was printing a job application out for me and noticed my writing background. He asked if I’d be interested in a paid (!) writing project for the group he works for. I went along for a meeting and got the gig. While working out what I should charge, I contacted another old friend who’s a successful freelance writer and editor to ask for advice, and she asked if I wanted her to put some other bits of writing work my way. I said yes and the other week I submitted my first invoice as a freelancer. Someone want to go back and tell myself ten years ago that I’m here, sort of networking and actually getting a (albeit very small) pay cheque from writing?!
All this leaves me with a whole bag of mixed feelings. I hate the idea of not going back to teaching, so I’ve not written that off. I love writing and can’t deny that it has the potential to fit well around the commitments of young children. But then again, I was looking forward to having a job that expanded my social horizons a little…but we need the money and there isn’t much doing on the teaching job front just now. I’ve decided to just go with the flow and not look to the future too much at the moment (gosh, that’s hard for me to do, I’m a natural worrier).
Flow is an appropriate word at the moment. The paid writing projects seem to have turned on a tap and I’ve now found myself volunteering to write for free for a new local magazine, plus I’m fired up with a new idea for a children’s novel. Maybe if I just gave up sleeping I’d have the time I need for all these words…
It’s been a week of ups and downs. The ups have included some fairly unexpected opportunities to go back to my previous incarnation as a writer. This will bring in some welcome money and is so far proving to be very enjoyable, as I’m remembering what I enjoyed about producing copy to order. The downs, well it was one big down really as I failed to get a job doing what I love- teaching. I am trying to be philosophical, however, and see that these two opposing kinds of fortune are both pointing to me spending a bit more time immersed in family life, rather than being pulled back to the outside world just at the moment.
With that in mind I wanted to share this family moment from today- P’s first ride on Daddy’s bike. Despite my mummy-wobbles about it, I’ve given in to the idea of a ‘jumpseat’- a little saddle with a safety strap, attached to the top tube of C’s bike, so that P can hold the handlebars and ride with him. I agreed to it for several reasons: I trust C’s experience and safety riding bikes; I know that P will love it and that it will open a new world of possibilities for going out and about with P in the saddle and M in the buggy; it will help P’s development as a cyclist himself; we bought a new and better fitting helmet for P’s rapidly growing bonce.
Guess what? He loved it. We went for a ride/walk at Rampside, marred only by the filthy habits of some irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up after themselves.
After that it was home for a spot of cake decorating- tomorrow is not only Mother’s Day but also my mother-in-law’s birthday so some whipped cream cheese icing and edible gold stars (I know! How fabulous!) were in order to finish off the lemon sponge P and I made yesterday. Just got to work out how to transport it to her now…