Friday, February 27, 2009

Job woes...

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I know I've "gone dark" these past few weeks... apologies. But I have an excuse this time, honest!

Earlier this month I joined the Unhappy Fraternity of the Jobless, when my company "laid me off" friom my job of 12 years. I've been spending the last few weeks taking stock of my professional and personal lives and deciding what I want to do, as well as utilizing the outplacement services provided to me by my ex-employer.

Being unemployed, in a word, sucks. I've been told that, since I got a severance, I should look at this as an "unplanned paid vacation", but I guess my brain just doesn't work like that because all I can imagine is my severance money running out and not being able to make rent.

Faugh. Just... faugh.

Now the good news...

Since getting laid off on Feb. 4 (via speakerphone BTW... classy), I've completed two new short stories as well as 6 chapters of a new novel. I've also done about 85% of a novella, set in the same universe as the Blood Magic books, and have story seeds for at least 2 other short pieces. I really should be using this time to write agent letters, to try and get my urban fantasy manuscript out in front of editors, but every time I try I get breathless and tense... Guess I'm still not recovered all the way, yet.

Wish me luck on finding a new job so things can get back to normal.

-Matt

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4 comments:

heidi ruby miller said...

Very sorry to hear about your job, Matt.

I empathize. After leaving teaching in 2004 after seven years, our income was cut in half.

I reasoned I could make up most of the deficit by writing. The pressure I put on myself to succeed (because I felt it was survival, not just to get my name out there) was brutal. I worked ten hour days writing about topics I had no interest in, trying to crank out short stories and novels, and feeling guilty about doing anything besides writing because "I wasn't pulling my weight" in the finances. (NOTE: My husband, who is still employed as a teacher, never put any of this pressure on me, it was all my own doing.)

Each rejection became so defeating, so personal, because it stood for hours of work that had come to no fruition, hours I had taken out of my life and not gotten anything in return, including some type of compensation.

I almost gave up writing completely because it felt like a waste of time, that I was spinning my wheels while so many others were speeding right past me. No single time period made me feel like such a failure. And to top it off, I had completed a graduate program, hoping it would make me more marketable, so student loan debt soon piled up.

Inevitably, I kept writing. I now have a new job in education and that has eased some of my rejection anxiety and allowed me to write for pleasure once again. I guess what I'm trying to say in a very dismal voice (sorry) is that you are already way ahead of where I was in 2004. You have multiple books out there and the start of a wonderful career. It gives you some breathing room. Remember that if the writing ever becomes too frustrating. And, maybe it won't ever be like that for you. I really hope so.

I wish the best for you in both your writing and your job search.

(Sorry. I don't usually put so much of myself out there, but your situation has a soft spot with me.)

~Heidi

Jim C. Hines said...

Good luck, Matt. Unplanned paid vacation? Really? That sounds like something a company would come up with help them feel a little less guilty about laying you off.

The last time I was unemployed, I spent several months doing nothing but writing and sending out resumes. I did manage to finish an entire novel faster than I ever had before, but there's also a lot to be said for the security of having that job when you need it.

I hope you find something soon.

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Dude!!! Just found you here, and read this! That sucks. I don't even know what to say.

I'm trying to get all the Juno author's blogs on my list. My blog has this 'follower' thing in the sidebar. (Not that it makes folks my minions or anything...but the thought can bring a smile to one's face. I'm easily amused, I guess.) And I was looking to be a follower of your blog, but all I can find is the 'feed' thing. (What is with these terms...now I want minions who will bring me food.) Anyway... it was nice to meet you at Context last year with Paula.

And absolutely--you have my wishes for you finding a job. Sounds like you're keeping at it though, both job searching and writing.

Best wishes!

-Linda

Adam said...

Sorry to hear about your job loss. I know you were unhappy there so perhaps you will find something better. I may be facing the same situation, there was a meeting two weeks ago to ask for layoff volunteers, no takers....Surprise!