10 August 2014 @ 06:09 pm
And sometimes things go right  
It seems I've been trying to come up with a strategy to cope with (or, as my friends will probably say, whining about) my workload for years now. I'm pretty sure I have a tag for whining, and if I do, I'm going to bet most of it will be blah blah blah I work too much.

Since I'm an independent consultant, it's true I have no one to blame for my workload except myself. Although it never really does seem that simple when you're faced with an enticing new contract or projects from regular clients. Also, I devastated my finances when I was taking care of my mom while she was dying and the economy was collapsing, so for a while I took all the work I could get just to try to stave off the economic monsters.

Finally, when I was working 60-65 hours every single week and was just exhausted all the time, I started turning down everything I was offered from new clients, and even easing back on some of the work I did for existing clients. Which ultimately left me feeling trapped. I make good money, but only at the cost of my sleep, free time, and quality of life. Also, my creativity.

I'd tried just about everything, including outsourcing some tasks to other contractors, but two weeks ago I did something I hadn't actually considered: I hired a full-time assistant.

I learned from my past experiences with contractors and hired someone local who could actually come into my home office to be trained -- it's much easier to show someone how to do something than try to work it out over the Internet, even with desktop sharing.

I also hired someone I knew to be VERY smart, albeit who didn't have a background in my field. But I felt her skills would translate well to the type of work I do, and I knew she hated her current job and its lengthy commute, so getting a job that allowed her to work from home but paid the same would be appealing to her.

She's worked for me for two weeks now, and I couldn't possibly be happier. I've signed two new clients, and am able to focus on new work that's creatively challenging instead of client maintenance, which isn't. I am LOVING being able to say "yes" instead of "no" to interesting jobs!

Not to mention that the contract from just one of those new clients is going to completely pay for my assistant, so I'll be in the amazing position of making MORE money while doing LESS work, and actually giving someone else a good job, too.

I also haven't worked past 6 PM a single evening since I hired her, have had a lot more energy for social activities, and am starting to feel my depleted creative batteries re-charging. And the next time I go on vacation, I'll be able to leave everything in her capable hands and truly un-plug!

The last time I sat down to work on fic, I was able to do some outlining and story-plotting, but actually write? I had nothin'. (It was "Feeling Good" -- I really am working on it!) Now I'm finding myself thinking about the story again in my spare time -- OMG, I have spare time! It's like go-go dancing angel!Justin granted my wishes!

I didn't want to post about this on my Facebook as too many of my clients follow me there and I don't want them to see the insides of my head, LOL, so thank you for letting me express this moment of gratitude here!
11 February 2014 @ 01:11 pm
Goodbye, Vamphile  
The only person I could ever really talk to about writing is gone. She was gone a long time ago for me, for reasons that made sense only in her chaotic, beautiful, tortured mind. I thought one day there'd be a way to mend that, but now it will never happen.

She was a better writer unbeta'd, un-proofread, and uncensored than most writers are after multiple revisions. She was wildly creative, blisteringly funny, smart, and mean -- meanest of all to herself.

I don't know how she passed, and there really can't be an answer to why. I only know that I have always missed her, and now I always will.
24 February 2012 @ 05:34 pm
JOB... over!  
I am now officially done with the job I hated. I feel so free, and not only that, but I have a weekend of NO WORK. Zero. Not any. Plus, one of my clients offered me a small increase on my contract that will more than cover my insurance payment under COBRA! It's like a sign from the universe, isn't it?

Oh, I feel ficcish, I really do. Because I think my poor writing muses have just been SLEEP-DEPRIVED!

I also want to thank everyone for being so encouraging and happy for me about this job situation. Especially since I know a lot of you could easily think that complaining about too much work in this economy is a privileged thing to do. But no one did. You all are wonderful!

So, anything going on in your lives I could return the favor about? Or at least, are you doing anything fun this weekend?


20 February 2012 @ 04:41 pm
Letter of resignation sent this morning, my supervisor responded with grace and regret, and it looks like we can wrap up the transition in a week (I hope). I am SO FUCKING RELIEVED.

My first act of celebration is going to be finishing Directions. I swear it on REBEL'S GRAVE!
17 February 2012 @ 04:30 pm
Wherein life teaches Xie a lesson, and things get better  
Oh, my life.

Personal blah blah blah... )

In other news, I still love fandom! I realize that QAF fandom activity on IJ is almost nil, has slowed to a trickle on LJ, and most of us keep up in other ways now. But today while I was doing my taxes I had the CD of Brian/Justin vids that Bunny made for Xiefest on while I worked, and I actually went over to Tumblr and had to laugh at the adorable little Glee fangirls getting all worked up over the ugly shipper wars, and tell them, if you only KNEW what a TRUE ugly shipper war looked like! (And if you're on Tumblr, this is me: Xie on Tumblr.)

Tell me how you're doing, and if you're still doing any fandom stuff anywhere else? I miss you all!