Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hustling

Phew. I just finished a non-fiction essay. Man, do you see how I can go on when blogging? Well, I swear, non-fiction essays take me forever. I write fiction at a rate of 500 - 1500 words per hour. (Okay, I've got my 100 word hours, too, LOL.) I write non-fiction at the rate of about 30 - 50 words an hour. And I'm not exaggerating at all. It's pitiful.

What's funny is I could barely get my brain to pull together a blog during my non-fiction time. And I can blog way faster, and that's non-fiction. I don't get it. Maybe it's the type of non-fiction.

Ah well.

I was just talking with someone about layoffs, and I realized how very grateful I am for my situation. For all the job security in a "real" job, there's a security in hustling. I mean, if I get "laid off," it's from one small part of my income. And I can always hustle up more.

Which brings me to my biggest goal for the next year. I mentally have a "set point" for my monthly income, a minimum amount that I tell myself I must make. I've got the red zone (Oh shit! how am I going to pay the bills!); the yellow zone (Tighten your belts!); the green zone (Lookin' good!); the green-yellow zone (Lovin' this money!); and the green-red zone (Lovin' the money, but I'm so busy I don't have time to eat!).

My point is, I have a set point that's sort of the perfect balance of work and money for the studio.

And I realized: I never chose a "set point" for my fiction income. So I've made a goal: in the next six months, I have a figure in mind.

I've never done that with fiction before. It's always been "extra" money, either for something fun or for emergency I-need-money situations. I think if I move it into the "X amount a month" category, I will see a big shift in what I'm making.

Mostly because I'll be working more productively to get to that figure.

Anyway, I was just grateful. I can't lose my job in one fell swoop. I can lose a little, but then I have plenty of time in the yellow or even the red zone to move things back to the green zones.

Two great news: I'm getting a Kindle!!!!!! Today!!!!! And Glenn (DH) is home!!!!!!!!!!! (No coincidence, LOL!) I am SO excited! It was my b-day yesterday. :-)

30 bonus scribbles:

WendyCinNYC 10/07/2008 12:33:00 PM  

I love your color-coded set points. Good luck with the fiction income!

spyscribbler 10/07/2008 01:24:00 PM  

LOL, Wendy. Thanks! I've got the next two months down, but I've gotta get hustling on the months after that.

Kath Calarco 10/07/2008 01:28:00 PM  

Happy belated birthday! Is the Kindle a gift to yourself? Cool!

conley730 10/07/2008 01:34:00 PM  

Happy belated birthday!!! And congrats on DH being home. I'm still not sure how I feel about the Kindle. I like the feel and smell of a real book in my hands, but I guess it would be okay for trips and such. I work for the state government, so hopefully we won't be getting laid off anytime soon.

Melanie Avila 10/07/2008 02:06:00 PM  

I also love the color coded points. Congrats on having DH and a Kindle! It's like Christmas came early. :)

Travis Erwin 10/07/2008 04:08:00 PM  

Happy birthday. Look forward to your take on the Kindle.

Aimless Writer 10/07/2008 04:12:00 PM  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPY!!!
And you get dh as a present. What great timing.
Have a Happy!

Michele 10/07/2008 04:40:00 PM  

Happy Birthday!! How perfect that your husband came home in time to celebrate! :-)

Edie 10/07/2008 04:50:00 PM  

Happy birthday, Spy! How cool that hubby is home today. And what a great b'day present! I know you're going to tell us how much you love it.

Zoe Winters 10/07/2008 04:55:00 PM  

YAY your man is home!

YAY on the kindle!

And yes, you can't lose your job. I've always thought that self employment with several small income streams is always safer and has more security than a job working for someone else.

A job is an "all eggs in one basket" sort of deal.

Self employment with many income streams isn't.

And it's REALLY cool if you have a few different profit centers that seem to have opposite cycles of profitability, so that when one is slow, the other generally picks up the slack.

And yes, there is always hustling.

Robin 10/07/2008 07:51:00 PM  

Happy Birthday, Spy! I'm so happy DH is home, and you're finally getting your Kindle!

Where's the color for "I made a lot of extra money, and now I can get some new shoes"? That's the color I'm looking for. I think it should be purple.

Melanie Avila 10/07/2008 08:25:00 PM  

I agree with Robin. There really should be a purple/shoe category.

mom2brie,  10/07/2008 10:33:00 PM  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Yeah - dh is home :) :) :)

Many, many, many blessings to you, my dear, dear friend!!

StarvingWriteNow 10/08/2008 06:30:00 AM  

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Biiiirrrrrttttthhhday
Deeeeeaaaarrr Natashaaaaaaaa....
Happy Birthday toooooooooooooo
Yooooooooouuuuuuuuu!!!!!

Okay, just be glad you couldn't actually hear me singing it!

Glad DH is home!

Virginia Lady 10/08/2008 04:47:00 PM  

Happy Birthday! And congrats on the Kindle, you'll have to let us know how you like it after you've used it for a while, and so glad your DH is back! For both of you!

Rick 10/08/2008 10:24:00 PM  

Happy Birthday! Nice to have multiple sources of income, isn't it?

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:51:00 AM  

Thanks, Kath! The Kindle is a gift from DH. Love the guy. :-)

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:52:00 AM  

Erin, the Kindle is awesome. First, it looks like a real page. Second, it's easier to turn the pages. Third, it's awesome because you can carry 80+ books with you!

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:53:00 AM  

Melanie, it did! This is part my Christmas present, too. :-)

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:54:00 AM  

Aimless, it's been great! Except he keeps sleeping. He's off the time, and he's been working for months. He's exhausted, lol.

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:54:00 AM  

Michele, it was awesome. The best b-day present of all!

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 07:55:00 AM  

Edie, you bet, I will! It's incredible.

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 08:07:00 AM  

Zoe, I'm really grateful. Sometimes I forgot how wonderful that is, but I've been reminded of it, lately. I love it!

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 08:08:00 AM  

Robin, YES, purple! Yes, yes, yes! Except I'm not into shoes. But I'll take more books! More iTunes!

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 08:08:00 AM  

Melanie, done! Definitely a purple category! :-)

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 08:09:00 AM  

Love, love, love you, Mom2Brie! :-) It's going to be a good year, I can tell. :-)

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 08:09:00 AM  

Writenow, thank you! LOL! You don't want to hear me sing it, either. :-)

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 08:10:00 AM  

Virginia, I love it! It might have something to do with my disappearance here, for the last couple days. :-)

spyscribbler 10/09/2008 08:11:00 AM  

Rick, it's a relief. It's still scary (all but one of the piano stores have closed), but it's a relief. I love it.