I was listening to NPR’s Talk of the Nation yesterday, and it was about people who work as telecommuters, freelancers, consultants, etc., and the various perks and challenges of that. One guest described the careers of many freelancers as investment portfolios. They do various kinds of work to fit various needs. They do certain work to bring in income, but that allows them to do the work that’s their real artistic effort.
I always appreciate a good metaphor for my crazy, stitched-together, must make income but really want to write poetry” career. So here’s my question: If you didn’t have to make any income, what parts of your career would you give up? Your day job, if you have one? Your promotional efforts for your published writing? School visits? Work for hire writing?
If I had no need to make money, I’d keep my poetry and fiction writing, and I’d probably try my hand at more trade nonfiction. I’d keep a little bit of my freelance web editing work through Children’s Literature Network and Winding Oak, because I love the people in the children’s literature world that I get to meet through that job.
But I wouldn’t stress out about having a certain number of hours of web work. And I’d drop work for hire writing, including books, assessment, the whole nine yards. And I’d probably stop hemming and hawing over school visits and just not do them. And I guess I wouldn’t worry about teaching, either. I actually enjoy that part of my career, teaching writing workshops or speaking at writing conferences. But if I didn’t need to make any money, I guess I’d actually rather be writing than teaching about writing.
What parts of your work do you truly enjoy, and what parts would you be happy to kick to the curb?