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  • Christine Shuck

The Grand Plan

If I didn't have my love of words, I think I would have been great as a project manager or accountant. I can see the necessary steps of most projects way in advance - which is probably why I get so much done on a daily basis. The project management nerd in me literally figures out how to combine the act of daily living and going from one room to the next with tidying and issuing jobs to the other members of my family.


And then there is my love of numbers, which actually came from HATING math with a passion at a young age. I hated it, but you know what I hated more? Feeling stupid that I didn't understand the concepts. It was like a personal challenge for me, and I ended up creating number games that helped me solidify my multiplication, addition and subtraction skills. As the household's financial manager, it gives me a lot of satisfaction to chart exactly what our net worth is, as well as plan for our financial future with these four homes that we own.


In any case, after my precipitous departure from Amazon which I don't really regret. I do wish I could have held on longer, but I'm also not going to beat myself up over it. After all of that collapsed in on itself on Tuesday, it took me a couple of days to come up with a plan.


I looked at job boards, evaluated my options, looked at my employment history and my abilities and realized that, despite my myriad of abilities in accounting, customer service, administrative support, education, et cetera - I remain 100% unfit to hold a typical wage-earning job. Twenty plus years of 1-2 year stints at a myriad of jobs, compared to nearly 15 years in total at five different businesses (authorship, cleaning, professional organizing, community education, and Airbnb) that I own. Of those, three are still in action (writing, cleaning biz, and Airbnb). And all three are appealing, areas I excel at, and want to continue to do.


So all of this is to say - I'm not going to try and find another job. Instead, I'm going to focus on the three jobs I already have that do work. And more specifically, I'm going to double down and focus on the one that means the most - writing.


My love of numbers and project management led me to examine the progress I have made on the G581 books, the three sequels to G581: The Departure. To date, I've written:

  • 6,068 words on G581: Earth

  • 7,156 words on G581: Zarmina's World

  • 43,875 words on G581: Mars

I set an expectation of around 85,000 words per book (my fiction books are usually anywhere between 80k - 105k) and figured that if I write 2,000 per day, at least six days per week, I would be done with G581: Mars in mid-to-late June. Following that same schedule, G581: Earth should be done by late October, and finally G581: Zarmina's World by the end of the year.


And me being me, I took it a step further and calculated that I could finish the six books I have outlined for the Benton Security Services series in 2021 and then turn my focus on the 12 smaller books (perhaps as small as 60k each) in the Chronicles of Liv Rowan series in 2022.


I looked at all of that and asked myself, "Isn't this far better than struggling to keep my cool working for Amazon for just as long? And with the potential of making enough intellectual property that it would keep earning for long after I had finished writing?"


I know where my problem in all of this lies.


I am constantly questioning myself, my abilities, and my priorities. I am constantly allowing myself to feel guilt over not bringing in the income NOW to the point where I cut off my nose to spite my face and pull back from creating the content that will pay me tomorrow, and the week after, and a month from now, and so on.


I need to stop that. I need to focus, truly focus, on the prize. That of authorship paying off. First, I need the content in enough quantity that it can be advertised to my best benefit, a.k.a. at least 20 books. Then I need to market, market and MARKET my products.


Over 20 years ago, I was applying for a sales secretary position. They were trying out a new test as part of their hiring protocol and they asked me to take it. When I did, it was the highest score they had ever seen. Apparently I have excellent sales capabilities. But here is the rub - it is only a strong sales capability in conjunction with my belief in the item that I am selling. If that item is me, and my work, it's high. If it is something like insurance (that was the company), the chances that I'm going to be as much of a believer is a rare and unusual thing.


I can do this. I will do this. Hold on to your pants, folks!


I've added this note to the bottom of my monitor...



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