Until Next Year …

blue round christmas ornament on snow
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Me: Say Goodbye, 2019.

2019: “Goodbye 2019.”

See what I did there [I’m winking, since you can’t see me as I type this post].

My calendar this morning reminded me that there are only “10 days until Christmas”. Which means that there are also only 17 days remaining until the lights go out on 2019 and come on for 2020. What kind of plans have you got for the new year? Are there any lessons learned from 2019 to carry with you?

I’m looking forward to a fresh start as well as seeing through some plans that I have been hatching during the second half of this year. Which seems like I just started working on yesterday.

And then I’m reminded of childhood, hearing the adults go on about how fast time flies. Some would say “Time flies when you’re having fun!” while others would complain about how fast the months go by now that they have kids/are over 21/insert some other arbitrary statement here. And I realize it’s true. Time flies so fast compared to when I was young when the days seemed to crawl by in spite of my wishing it would go faster.

With the speed of time in mind, I’m thinking about how many things I planned for this past year, how many got done, and how many other things got added to the list instead and which items fell off of that same list. That’s how things go.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

We have to remember to be flexible.

Plan the things you can, sure. But accept that the best laid plans might just go awry.

And know that that’s okay.

So take some time now to just be. Don’t fret over what you didn’t do. There are still tomorrows to make those tasks up.

Take a deep breath. Enjoy the moment – be it with family, or just by yourself in quiet retrospect – and step forward into whatever comes next.

I’m going to be stepping forward with you.

In the meantime, I’m taking off the rest of 2019. See you on the other side of mid-January.

I Need to Eat, Too.

money pink coins pig
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So a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to provide my rates for inputs for a directory of sorts.

I filled out the form with my rates and roles, then didn’t let myself think anymore about what I was typing and clicked submit. Just hit the button to send the form off into the digital ether.

Immediately I began to fret. Maybe my rates were too high. Maybe they’d not include my information, astounded by my audacity.

Two weeks later and I am still finding myself wringing my hands.

Why?

Why am I not willing to accept that my worth could be those numbers? Why am I convinced that I shouldn’t ask for my value to be high enough to sustain my work?

And when I look out at the things other writers (and creatives in general, for that matter) say about their rates I am seeing that same feeling reflected over and over.

Now, I know I’m not a rocket scientist or brain surgeon and certainly don’t mean to imply anything one way or another with my next statement, so bear with me a moment.

Specialists, brain surgeons, subject matter experts, highly skilled engineers (and so on) don’t hesitate for a moment when providing the cost to employ them. They know their skill set is valuable and they ask for their worth.

And they get paid what they ask for.

As a creative we are highly skilled individuals in our specific areas. There are people who prefer a skilled creative to write the words, design the logos, build the websites, rather than do it themselves. Sometimes it’s even just a matter of convenience and other times it is because they just need a specific skill set they don’t otherwise have available.

But the point is that those creative skills are needed.

And … AND … you have a right to charge your worth to pay your bills.

Because, hey, starving artists should be an outdated concept.

Comfortably eating and having a roof over your head should be the new rage.

After Too Much Tryptophan and Not Enough Family Time

acorns autumn autumn decoration autumn leaves
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The holiday weekend is coming to a close and I don’t know about you all, but I feel like while I got lots of good eats I didn’t get nearly enough of that good family time. If you did I’m green with envy (and also incredibly happy for you). In the meantime I’m going to try to soak up a few more hours of quality time before the week turns me into a pod person. In the words of our favorite Terminator, “I’ll be back” – for my regularly scheduled blog post next week. In the meantime check out this short story from last fall: Strange Pair, a short story and I hope you have a great week!