I Went To A Bar And Now I’m Self-Employed

I went out over the weekend to the Highlands neighborhood here in Louisville.

I made a new friend at one of the many gay bars there, called Chill Bar. It has this enormous tree out in the patio with Christmas tree lights wrapped around it. We sat at the bar around the tree and drank Budweiser and Guinness, people watched, and talked about our creative ambitions. He’s a musician. He also has a day job, something with pipe organs. I talked to him about how I’m just really not that good at traditional jobs and just sort of want to write things. Basically, I’d rather be self-employed. Actually, I need to be self-employed.

Being a writer is scary when your only experience is working traditional jobs.

The idea of being a self-employed blogger and writer has always come up, but I could never quite let it sink in. What would my day be like? At home all day at my desk? No lie, I love being at my desk when I’m writing, but where would my ideas come from if I was at home all the time?

I had to learn the hard way to force myself to get out and live so that I could write things. Now the problem is more or less having the time to actually go out and be inspired to write things. I’m pretty introverted, which is also another challenge on top of it all.

My discussion with my new friend got me thinking a little more about my blog, my writing, and the current post-graduation challenges I’m facing with working and money making. It also got me thinking a lot more about my traditional paycheck job.

My only source of income has ever really been working at a traditional job.

I have to schedule my life around it, set alarms, wake up, do the job, and then come home and start to think about my writing, my blog, my social media, and my editing. Now that I’m 30 and still not satisfied with that, I think it’s safe to say that working a traditional job is not for me. I have new goals now. New priorities. My new priority is this blog and my writing. I have a plan. Well, sort of.

My goal is to be self-employed and officially replace my crappy traditional paycheck jobs with income from my blog by December.

Not that I have any income on this blog yet. I normally wouldn’t make such a bold statement without at least having a safety net, but I’ve known for a long time that I’ve needed to be self-employed and work on my blog as a source of income while I’m writing my fiction. I knew the entire time I was in college. It was a mistake playing it safe in college and not taking my blog as seriously as I should have while I had the student loans and time to do it. I’m in for a rough 3 or 4 months, I think. I can’t keep putting off the hard months out of fear. It’s better to just go ahead and face them. I’m already 30. I’ve wasted enough time.

Coming from a low income family convinced me that working a “job” was the only way I’d ever make any money and get away from there.

The thought of not putting all my extra energy into job hunting and wearing a fake smile for someone else’s company still scares me a lot when I think about it, just like it scared me in college. I lost nearly an entire semester once because I was afraid of not having money and overworked myself. Now that I have my degree, I’m right back to sacrificing what I want to do for my fear. I’m afraid of getting sucked back into a place that I spent a long time getting away from.

So, in my first big push to be self-employed, this blog is now my number one priority.

And like I said before, this blog is about my writing. All of it. So I’ve got fiction to write more of, Instagram photos to take, and little things to tweet. All in the name of my blog. And while I’ll keep working for now at the traditional jobs, it definitely won’t be much longer. December 31st is my deadline. I will not be working any traditional paycheck jobs by then. Preferably a lot sooner. I already anticipate having a lot of problems with a few people in my life over this. Some people in my life won’t understand.

The people that always ask me what good my English degree is are rampant these days.

Sure it’s not a degree that landed me in a good traditional job-like position very easily, even though it did get me more interviews. I didn’t choose English as my degree to get a traditional job. I chose English because I wanted to be a writer. Turns out I’m already a writer, which is good. The other surprise is that my English degree actually prepared me for self-employment.

All those years of research, self motivated project completion, and sudden deadlines would’ve been a great time to have already been taking my blog seriously and getting it generating income. Unfortunately, my fear of running out of money and having to go back to a meth infested network of hillbillies was too great.

My English degree taught me to be self motivated and helped me build writing habits. It also probably taught me a whole lot more than I even realize yet. So, it really doesn’t make sense to just go right back to the kind of work I was doing before college. There’s no reason why I can’t be a self-employed blogger and fiction writer if I want to be, other than giving into my fear.

I have a decent work ethic, but the work I’m doing has to be interesting to me.

Since I graduated back in May, I’ve worked at 3 different places. I haven’t really liked working at any of them. It’s because they revolve around customer service.

I worked customer service jobs before college. I lasted a lot longer at them then. While I was in college in Louisville, I worked more administrative type jobs and worked on my own projects as well. I didn’t make a lot of money at it, or even any on my projects, but I enjoyed it a lot more.

I start a new job tomorrow night. It’s not a customer service job. It involves cold calls. We’ll see how it goes. I also still have my coffee shop job. It’s going okay. But, I’m starting to feel like I felt at all my customer service jobs before.

Of course, realizing all of this at a bar is kind of a lot of realize. Truthfully, I’ve known a lot of it already, maybe even all of it. I don’t know. My friend and I had a good talk.

It was nice to meet a fellow introvert.

After I was done talking about my writing and he was done talking about his music, we drank another beer at Chill Bar, went to another bar called Big Bar, and walked a few minutes. We exchanged contact info before we parted. I dunno if we’ll actually hang out again. It’s nice to get out and meet someone for a change. It’s great when it inspires a blog post, and it really helps me write my fiction.

I hope to continue going out and blogging about it. If I can keep it up, I just might be able to keep up consistency with this blog and get something of a career started. I enjoyed going out and writing the blog posts I did last week, even though it was hard and I’m still pretty introverted.

Does this sort of thing, personal blogs/essays about going out and trying new things and meeting people seem interesting enough? Gosh I hope so. I really want this blog to work. Officially being self-employed in the art of going around Louisville when I’m stuck on my fiction writing and blogging about it would be wonderful. I mean, you know, with just a dash of an undiagnosed social anxiety mixed in. Louisville is an interesting city and I can’t believe I have only really just begun to explore it. Leave me a comment below and let me know. If you have any more ideas for what I could do on this blog, let me know those too.

You can also contact me via my contact page for business inquiries.

Here’s my social media:

Twitter: twitter.com/ericshayhoward

Facebook: facebook.com/ericshayhoward

Instagram: Instagram.com/ericshayhoward

bar with drinks around a tree