I’m spending a lot of time thinking about where I want to go in the next few months, the next few years, the next few decades of my life. It’s natural, given the major milestones that have come up this year — my 50th birthday, one kid going to college, another kid finished with college. There’s a lot of uncertainties, puzzle pieces that have to be fit together.
One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want anymore jobs just for the sake of having a job. I mean, I guess I’m pretty lucky that I’ve had (mostly) writing and editing jobs for the last 10+ years, but not all of those job have been very fulfilling. That’s one of the reasons I’m so glad for my job at the university right now, because it feels like I’m doing more than just helping someone sell a product. On the other hand, it doesn’t really allow me to stretch my creativity the way working on the magazines did — it’s still marketing, even if it’s for a non-profit, and marketing is driven by things other than creativity. How is it that I’m only just now, at 50, figuring out what I do and don’t want from a career?
I’ve been doing some freelance editing on the side. Fiction editing, which is a whole different world than the corporate or magazine publishing work I’ve been employed to do. It’s great work, engaging with a manuscript and helping the author get more mileage from their prose. I could do this full time, I’m sure, and be good at it.
So I’m putting this out there into the universe: that a year from now I’ll be self-employed and supporting myself (and the one kid still in college) as a freelance fiction editor. Other than sitting and writing my own stories, I can’t imagine a better way to pass the days.