There’s always something to feel guilty about

standard July 15, 2009 4 responses

In 9 days I hop on a plane and head across the country, sans husband or kids, to spend three days partying, schmoozing, networking, and learning with some 1000 other bloggers.

I am looking forward to my time at BlogHer more than you can possibly imagine. There’s nothing like spending that much time surrounded by like minded people, sleeping in comfy hotel beds, and chatting, chatting, chatting. It’s like a long girls night out punctuated with tons of learning and growing.

So, as I said, I’m delighted and excited, but I’m also devoured by guilt and anxiety.

I’m not worried about the social aspect. I’m over that. (And if you’re not and you’re anxious about it, check out this awesome list of Commandments for BlogHer Success. Be sure to read the comments too!)

No. I’m worried about the money.

Last year when I went, a) in San Francisco so I drove, and b) I was still working and I had steady writing work lined up, so the finances weren’t an issue. This year I’ve been freelancing for almost a year, that steady writing work turned out to not be steady at all, and nothing else has been much steadier. To say that I haven’t earned much in the last year is putting it mildly.

So I feel pretty guilty to be skipping off into the sunset to go have fun at a conference on the other side of the country. It’s a significant expense and I really don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to spend the money.

I’m still going. And I’m trying to get over it, because it’s going to be good for me on many, many fronts, both personally and professionally, but it’s so hard to not worry about each and every dime that is going to be spent. And it’s so hard not to feel guilty about spending that money. Especially since I haven’t earned it myself.

The threshold to the rest of my life

standard February 3, 2009 5 responses
I knew when I quit my job to focus on writing that I wasn’t going to become a millionaire overnight. In fact, I knew that I would likely not earn a dime for the first 6 months. I did however expect that within those 6 months I might make some good contacts, maybe sell an article, hopefully get a decent, somewhat regular gig. Considering the way the Internet and Social Media are exploding it wasn’t really too far fetched to assume that something would come along.

I was actually pretty lucky found something pretty early on, but it fizzled out after just a couple months. Ever since I’ve been working hard to make a name for myself so that I have something to show for the time I’ve been freelancing, and so I’d have something to point to when people ask to see samples of my work.

I’ve been writing basic parenting articles Type-A Mom, dispensing advice like How to Diaper a Baby, How to Interview a Babysitter, or Swaddling 101. Stuff that might seem obvious to people who’ve been parenting for years, but is monumental to new parents.

I’ve just started writing about party games for the brand new Party Planning Professor site.

And aside from all the other day to day stuff I work on I even have a few other irons in the fire, but nothing that’s going to net me an actual paycheck, something that I could be proud to bring home to my family. Every month that goes by without income adds to my guilt. We’re not struggling – yet. But we are taping into our savings. And my patient M isn’t complaining, but I know that it’s stressing him out terribly. It’s a horrible time for us to be using up our savings, especially with no real solution in sight. So I stress, and I keep stressing.

There are many things I could be doing to turn The Lemonade Stand into a great site. I could be reaching out to countless companies, asking for products to review, to giveaway, to promote. I could be hyping the site to PR reps and to mompreneurs. I could be talking it up everywhere, getting people to sign up for the RSS feed, posting reviews every day. But all that takes time, and there’s no real financial future in it. Just like there’s no real financial future for this blog. Or for any of the other sites I contribute to right now.

So, what do I do? Do I keep writing for free and hope that my big break comes along? Do I work to promote my own sites and hope to attract some advertisers? Or do I focus my creative energy on this blog and ease up on the rest while I find a more traditional way to pay the bills?

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