Anticipating Adversity

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m concerned about my financial situation for the summer. This is in large part because I think my summer section of WRTG 101 will be cancelled due to lack of enrollment.

Such is the life of an adjunct, especially one as low in the hierarchy as I am. Summer classes are hard to come by anyway, so I was surprised to get a section at all.

I’ll likely get official word in the next few days. It’s disappointing, but it’s also the reason I’m not only an adjunct. This morning I applied to a bunch of freelancing opportunities. And I’m working on maintaining and developing the other engagements I do have–these have dwindled a bit over the last few months (from five to three), as has my pitching articles to other publications.

I was teaching and working on other things. I maybe got a little complacent.

Well, no longer. I’m on it. I’m starting a new approach to the market, which is more research driven, but will hopefully have longterm benefits. I think one of the consequences of online writing is you tend to go whole hog and want to pitch to everyone, but I think I will, as always, do better with a more focused approach.

Then there is that elusive unicorn: longterm, virtual employment. I admit, I’d gotten a bit discouraged about this particular search. It’s the ideal, the dream, the piece that makes all of this sustainable and gets me some real financial independence–not to mention stability. A lot of people apply for these jobs, because, I believe, we’re seeing a major market shift. Why rent expensive office space when all your employees have high-speed internet? Why spend money commuting when you can live somewhere cheaper and work from a home office? Obviously this doesn’t work for every industry, but it works for most of the jobs I want.

I’ve come close to finding the right one a few times. It’s hard to almost get there and fail. But that big shiny horned horse is out there and I’m going to find it.

So yeah, I freaked out a little bit when I realized a big chunk of my summer income won’t happen. But instead of paralyzing me, I let this particular moment of adversity become a source of motivation. Sure, I’d prefer a positive kick in the ass to a negative, but those are pretty rare all on their own.

What’s your unicorn?



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