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The Day I Brought You Up to Date on … Work

By on Oct 22, 2012 in Corporate Puppet |

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So. Let me tell you where my life is right now.

You might recall that in the summer of this year, I left my comfortable, public-sector employment to pursue my lifelong dream of being a writer. This means that currently, I have two jobs.

The first one I have trouble calling actual employment, because it involves writing about video games for magazines, TV and websites. It’s EPIC. I mean – this is dream job stuff. I play video games before they’re released, I get to be opinionated about them, and several different companies pay me actual money to do so. Trouble is, they don’t pay that much, GGS runs at a loss (I hate ads even though the website costs a bomb to run – maybe I need to revisit this?!) and I still don’t yet have enough coming in to scrape together a full wage, let alone the inflated public sector salary I brought home from my previous job. It’s tolerable because I had a comfortable redundancy payment and – after even paying off some (although regrettably not all) debts and fitting a new kitchen – we have enough at the moment to get us through, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit to being scared sometimes. I still wake up in the night, worried that I’ve made the wrong decision. Cliched? Possibly. It’s 100% true though. I’m better now than I have been, but there was a time there when I was lucky if I was scraping three or four hours kip a night.

Still. Video game critique. FOR MONEY. Worth it, right?

The other job is a new business I’ve set up with my BFF, D. Running on an idea she assaulted me with when I came back from our summer holidays this year (seriously: she had hit me with numerous calls before we made it out of the airport) – and a little seed money from my redundancy – we’re hoping to turn a relatively simple but friendly community idea into a workable business. Vague? Yeah, I know. I’m scared of going into too much detail in case some rapscallion steals the idea and becomes a millionaire with it (why, I have no idea – I don’t think it’s going to make ME a millionaire), but we’ve given it a lot of thought, explored a lot of angles, and believe that if we can pull off even 20% of our target market, we’ll make a comfortable income. It’s this that I hope will sustain my writing and enable me to do the job I love without worrying about how the fuck I’ll meet my mortgage payment.

Also, as we set up a limited company, we’re paying ourselves a salary from November … so at least I’ll have some kind of regular income (at least as long as we hit our modest targets each month). Coupled with the loan repayments that I hope will come back to us from next summer, we should just about be able to live as we are accustomed to. Only with less debt. And a considerably happier Vixx!

(Aside: it’s been a crazy few weeks, actually. In eight weeks or so, we’ve gone to several government-run business start-up seminars l[some shite, some good], met and impressed the business manager at our local bank, sorted our our insurances, set up the website, sorted out business phones, designed and printed our leaflets and business cards [am particularly happy with how these turned out], and are now making our first tentative steps towards sales. To date, the dozen or so would-be clients we’ve approached have all been really positive about the concept, and we’ve had two sales, with one in the pipeline, and a handful of clients “thinking it over”. It’s promising, although I don’t think either of us will sleep easy until the money starts coming in!)

The problem is that I’m really, really disorganised. Like, WOEFULLY SO. Even though I don’t have a full-time job elsewhere anymore, I’m finding it hard to organise my time well enough to permit me to play, write and, you know, LIVE all within the sixteen or so hours I’m awake. This week, I’m trying to rectify this. Now we’ve transformed S’s hitherto Playroom into a den-type space which houses a sofa, TV, desk and my iMac, the hope is I can drop myself into this space at regular times each day and fool my brain into thinking I’m “at work”. By writing in the morning, doing the business stuff in the afternoon, and powering on my consoles in the evening, I’m trying to get into a suitable rut. Fingers crossed, eh?

Jesus. That’s a whole lot of text about the work side of my life. Are you still with me, or did you pass out partway through?! Advice, tips or your thoughts – don’t hesitate to let me have them!