Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Archive for August 2012

Getting ready to strike out on my own

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UntitledAs the summer comes to a close, the end of my year of service with AmeriCorps is fast approaching. August 31 is my last paycheck. I started applying for jobs back in April. Some promising leads came and went. There aren’t a lot of jobs in my area that I can apply for. As September approaches, I find myself facing the choice of returning to a job I was miserable in so I can pay the bills, or applying for low wage jobs that won’t pay the bills to tide me over until I can get a “real” job.

Instead, I’m creating my own job. I’m tired of applying for jobs I know I don’t want to have. I’m tired of being rejected for ones I want (and know I could be great at), but don’t have enough experience on paper for. I’m in a small city without a lot of choice or opportunity in this economy, so I’m doing something to take control of my situation. I’m optimistic and scared. I’m excited and uneasy. I’m confident and unsure.

Chris and I are both creating our own jobs, so we’ve been coffee shopping a lot. I’ve been working with yelling, wrestling, arguing, running kids four days per week and somehow coming out with just enough energy to work on my projects in the evening. My blog has been neglected as I work on my new website. I think I will start a new blog on my new site instead of importing this one, but keep this one as a personal blog.

You can check out my new site at Or It’s definitely a work in progress. There you’ll see that I plan to freelance as a copyeditor, and also to tutor and teach computer lessons locally. The tutoring & computer lessons are my income insurance, the copyediting is my risk. I know I can get tutoring gigs because of my relationship with the school and because I will get a good recommendation from the parents of the girl I’ve been tutoring this summer (I’m the first tutor she’s liked in 4 years, I’ve heard). When Chris was fixing computers, he found a demand for computer lessons among older clients.

I also possibly have the opportunity to do some work as an assistant to a local children’s author, and I just heard about an opportunity for 4 hours per week as a “handcraft” instructor at the new Waldorf school that’s opening here. I’d get to teach knitting to first and seventh graders. Score!

I’m hoping that diversifying what I do will help me cobble together enough to live on and not make me crazy. I figure that if I get so busy that I feel TOO busy, it will be a good thing because it will mean I’m earning a living, and it will be insurance against slumps. I can always prune back. I’m actually optimistic that I will make more than my AmeriCorps stipend (900/month isn’t hard to surpass).

So that’s what’s been happening in this neck of the woods.

I wonder if tutoring will ensure me the same immunity to colds that I enjoyed all last year? Seriously, if you don’t want to get colds, work with toddlers for a year. You’ll have nasty colds all that year, but the next one? Golden. If the immunity continues, I’ll say it’s a small price to pay.


Written by nikkinbird

August 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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