Monthly Archives: December 2010

Snowed In

So many apologies for not updating yesterday, but it was the big day. I packed my stuff in my friend’s car and left for Phoenix on the Denver Road Show.

Guess where I am?

Denver? No…

Tucson? No…

How about Phoenix?

Yes, dear readers (or that one guy that accidentally bookmarked me), I am still in Phoenix. Apparently the east coast & midwest didn’t think it fair that we in the west were snowless, so the storm brought up both rain AND snow!

Flagstaff, the city in which we would have driven, is snowed in. So we ended up staying until tomorrow. But don’t think I don’t know what this is cause I do.

Tucson doesn’t want me to leave. Well, you’ll have to learn to live without me. I may return one day, but only if you’re good. No, I’m not coming back unless I absolutely need to.

Here’s to hitting Denver tomorrow!

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone out there a very Merry and safe Christmas today, Happy Holidays, and a great and Happy New Year!

As I get closer to my move date (OMG Wednesday!) I may not make a post until the first of the year. I’m hoping for new beginnings for myself and everyone!

Tis The Season!

As we gear up for the Christmas season (for those who celebrate it) and that of a new year, I got some awesome blog posts in my mail today from both Freelance Folder and Freelance Switch and it had me thinking about myself. The one from Freelance Folder describes exactly what I’m (and some of you readers) are about to do –

Jump from being a part time freelancer to a full time freelancer.

Today is my official last day of full time employment, as I make my transition from one city to another. And while the articles I’ve done have helped a lot in keeping me afloat (and of course paying for my trips and move to Denver), there is something to be said about it being official.

These next couple of posts are going to get into the high gear (I hope) of what you and I have always wanted – to do what we enjoy and get paid for it. There are steps and falls and all that jazz, but hey I think we can make it.

So what’s today’s post about?

Well, as Christmas is only a short three days away, let’s discuss the dreaded ‘taking time off’ scenario. Dreaded? Well, for a freelancer it can be, as I’m about to have that hit me in a few short hours, it’s looking scary.

Freelancing – however fun – is still a job, kiddies. Unfortunately, unless you have awesome fallback money, you don’t really get paid time off. My goal this week? Finish every article and then some that I have sitting in my que at Bright Hub. Why? So that I can sit and relax on Christmas.

I mentioned earlier that I seemed to be having this horrible issue of not being motivated and just procrastinating till my heart’s content; this week – even with the lunar eclipse – I made a point of setting up a schedule and actually keeping it to make sure that I start this freelancing thing on the right foot.

So why this week did the motor and thoughts start hitting? I guess the easy answers would be –

  1. I want to make sure I enjoy Christmas without thinking ‘Oh God, I have articles to finish!’
  2. It’s now officially one more week until I leave for Denver, which will cost me two days for driving and at least a day to set up my stuff at my friend’s.
  3. Rent & bills are going to converge at the same time and I is POOR!

But who knows, really? The point is, somewhere in my mind I said I needed to get my s*** together in order to get this plan together and as a budding freelancer, I need to take this stuff into account.

So how does a freelancer prepare themselves for upcoming vacations and holidays? Planning. That’s really the big secret – just plan ahead. For instance, when I went up to Denver for Thanksgiving, I took my laptop with me and managed to do a bit of work while I waited for people to start coming home from work. I won’t lie – I lapsed because while it was a vacation from work, I was still working in a way.

Just as you would plan your vacation if you worked for a company, you need to plan freelancing with that. If you plan on going out of town, do you want to take your laptop with you? Will you have a few days before festivities to get work done?

Getting in projects and the like before the due date or before the holiday is the way to go. Think about it – while you’re trying to get your stuff in, you know your client or work partners are trying to do the same. I say ‘sharing is caring’ on this – help them out by getting your stuff in.

Tomorrow, I think we could all do with a story, so I’m going  to expand on the great article by Freelance Switch on spending time with your family.

Left Turn At Albuquerque

So yesterday I was expressing the incredible irony in that as soon as my announcement to move went around, others began moving away too. Of course, yesterday was probably just a pep talk in the fact that stuff in my apartment is slowly and surely starting to disappear and all that’s left is a lot of floor.

Today’s post is how to cope with those days that are lost when you move, especially big moves. Moving from one place to another, in city, while tons of work isn’t as stressful or time consuming – I think – as moving from one city to another, or one state to another. I’ve moved around in Tucson before, with not that much of a big deal (though I did stupidly leave a lot of stuff at the ‘rent’s house when I moved), but moving out of state seems to have upped the ante, so to speak.

On top of that, my mind is obviously not where it should be – writing articles, so that I will have the money to pay rent on the apartment I’m moving into, while paying the last month’s rent for the place I’m leaving. That’s a lot of dough. And when I made this decision last month, I said “Yeah. I can handle that. In fact, I know I can.”

Well…today’s the 16th and I haven’t even put a dent into that plan of mine. What happened? Let’s just say that the month of December, which should have been a financially stable, if not a financial boom became a financial let down. Nothing stresses me out more than finances, especially when I have established a financial plan and then life fucks with my chi. Completely and utterly annoying.

So you would think that with that going down, I’d be shooting down articles like gang busters. No. Well, I tried and in the end, I didn’t try very hard. And really, I have no idea what’s up with that. I’m really trying to get out of this ‘wait to the last minute mentality’ that seemed to have taken a hold of me this year (and probably last year too). What is the correct way to handle your freelancing while moving?

Well, the correct way would be to get as many projects as you can out of the way and turned in before their due date. This way, if something is due before, during, or immediately after your move, you won’t have to worry about it. There is no stress in trying to figure out how to get work done or being left behind because everything that was due has been finished and turned in (or scheduled to be).

Overall, take that day (or week) off for the purpose of moving. For instance, I know for a fact I probably will not get any writing done Christmas Day (and possibly Christmas Eve), so in my schedule, I’ve made sure not to have any freelance writing done. I do have a note to do the blog, cause it seems like a nice thing to say Happy Holidays to everyone who’s reading. *views the reading audience. Crickets are heard*

Okay. Moving on. Ha. Get it?

Right.

Here’s a nice article on distractions – which has seemed to be my number three nemesis in working from home – from my buds at Freelance Advisor. This weekend – not sure. Maybe more about trying to rise above working from home. Actually, yes, that sounds bonzer, don’t you think?

Moving Blues

A few weeks ago, I helped move a friend of mine and her husband out of Tucson and up to Minnesota. Last weekend, I went with a neighbor to drop off another neighbor at the train station so that she could move to New Jersey. This week, my boss and his family are all moving up to Seattle.

As soon as I mentioned that I was moving to Colorado, it seems like everyone wanted to jump off the USS Tucson, AZ and really, I can understand that. Don’t get me wrong – it’s my hometown and therefore, I should have some loyalty here, right? Well, for the moment, not as much.

Moving away, as a few people have put it, should be an adventure. One of those big life things that everyone should experience and then when in their twilight years, remember when they were somewhere else. I’m sure I’ve spoken about this before, so please try to forgive me for stating it all over again. I seem to be doing that a lot when I speak about how I’m leaving.

I’m t-minus one week before my last day at work and then only a few after Christmas will I be hitting the road with a friend up to my new home of Denver. Perhaps it hasn’t hit me that I’m moving or maybe I keep needing to remind myself that I’m moving and this isn’t some dream in which I’ll wake up back in my bedroom at my mom’s house.

This…is it.

Technically, you could put this ideology to anything. For instance, when you decide to start freelancing and you start getting your name out there in the online world. Before you know it, someone is actually asking you to publish something for them. Maybe it’s something small or maybe it’s the project that will launch your big writing, designing, programming career, who knows?

But at that point, you’ll start saying “Wow. This…is it.”

It’s an adventure, like in a movie (though without the big stars or budget) – small town kid hits on to something big and travels through the galaxy, err…world. You aren’t really saving it, but hey, if you want to think like that, I say go for it. Maybe your writing will save the world.

My moving to Denver isn’t going to save the world, but it might just save me in the life I have now and the life I would like to have.

You know, I think tomorrow’s post should be about what to do as a freelancer when faced with moving. Yeah, that sounds awesome.

Ugh…When Motivation Tanks

Earlier in these blog postings I spoke about what happens when procrastination rears its ugly head and you just can’t be bothered to do what you know needs to be done. Well, today’s blog is about procrastination’s big brother – motivation.

I admit, freely and abet sadly, that I have been completely and utterly unmotivated lately. Perhaps it’s because my mind has been on other things, with my moving out of state and getting things together for that, but I can almost count the moment my motivation just started to tank. At first, I thought maybe it started after I returned from Denver the first time, but in truth, I think it’s been coming on for some time.

As a beginning freelancer, I have of course read all I could about how to be more motivated as a freelancer, what do when you spend most of your time at home (which I do now, however I’m not freelancing), and how to avoid distractions. As someone who is used to sitting hours upon hours in front of a computer screen (hence why my vision has probably changed), at the beginning of the switch from being at the office and working from home, I figured, “why not?”

I have since learned why not.

I find that I’m easily distracted (normally) but lately I’ve been actually looking for things to distract me and sadly the things that should be distracting I’m not even motivated to be distracted by. Not good.

So what’s a freelancer to do when procrastination and motivation are hitting you harder than you want them too?

My friends over at Freelance Folder have a great article with a few tips on staying motivated. I also think that the motivation is also based on personal commitment. In the past, I found self hypnosis to work wonders on me; one tape in particular I found to be very helpful. Unfortunately it’s on a tape and I don’t have a tape deck, which just sucks, as it was a really good tape.

Some of the options are good, if not for what I am doing now, in regards to work. But the count down towards Denver is rapidly approaching.

For the moment, even things that should be motivating me (like the fiasco with my bank) aren’t motivating me. What do you think is a good way to stay motivated?

Denver, Here I Come! Part I

So…it is now officially official.

I’m moving to Denver, CO.

And I’m like OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

There are many reason why I’m leaving the comfort and safety of my current hometown of Tucson, AZ, but let’s just say that the time has come for me to put on the big girl pants. Yes, reading viewers *knocks on screen. Hello?* Gina is growing up and branching out.

How does this affect the life as we know it? And most importantly, how does this impact the desire to be a freelancer? Well, let me tell you a story, kids. Or peers. As we all know, moving is a bitch. And by bitch, I mean bitch. Moving in town is crazy, but out of town? And out state? Let’s just say I have been preparing for this for months and have wanted it for years.

Okay, now on to the professional aspect, which is of course what this blog is here for (kinda). How does moving impact the freelancer? Well, if you have never moved before – as in, never moved any where out of where you live – the moving process, while still a headache, is a bit more smoother than that of moving out of the city or out of the state. You of course need to send out change of addresses and switch services from one place to another (unless this is the first big time move, then you need to set up services)

While I have been expecting and awaiting the days that I will finally leave, the fact that those days are coming up have all of a sudden raised the bar on just about everything. This week, I got the official word that I have an apartment in Denver, meaning I now have to set up service there (cause 1. Arizona stuff doesn’t cover Colorado and 2. I’m on the ball with that) and of course meaning I need to cancel service down here (which of course I’m debating on which day).

I’ve given notice at work (like two months after I came back the first time) and am slowly telling all the cool kids my new phone numbers. As a freelancer, there is of course the issue of email addresses and when I should change my address info – now, when I have the apartment address or when I’m in the apartment, with Internet set up?

AGH! And OMG again!

Exciting and scary all at the same time. This of course also means I should probably catch up on all those outstanding fan fics I have. And catch up with all the cool shows I managed to miss for two years straight. I’m slowly catching up with American Dad and today, I finally caught up with The Guild.

Oy there’s still a lot to do!