Today (a Saturday) I recorded the first of seven podcast interviews my publicist booked for the month of April. I’ve written several articles said publicist has pitched to online media, and I have more items on my to-do list. There’s an essay contest I want to enter (but I have to write the essay first), and in my dining room I have a box of books that I’m slowly figuring out how to divvy up among family, friends, and business associates.
The final leg of promoting and publishing my memoir is like that last semester of graduate school where you have your head down and just cram and push and produce because you know there’s a great reward at the end, plus you get some down time afterward. Sorry, I know, that example is privileged and exclusionary…but whatever, that’s what it feels like. I was flipping through my calendar/day planner and was kind of relieved to see nothing but a mammogram (ick) scheduled for November since the last few months have been completely booked.
Meanwhile, I still put in 40 hours a week for my day job and devote several hours a week to my continued post-ACL surgery rehab.
I guess I have a side hustle.
In May of 2019 I wrote a post questioning the societal peer pressure to have a “side hustle” and wondered if I was missing out or if I was just fine with my corporate salary and free time to do what I wanted. That was pre-book deal and pre-pandemic. I still bristle at the notion that one is pressured to have a “hobby that makes you money” (rather than purely being fun with no expectations), but now I get it.
People have their side businesses for a multitude of reasons. I haven’t thought about my book as a business venture because the creator in me thought I was simply producing a very well-done piece of art. I mean, it’s just writing.
Then I realized I wasn’t owning my success.
It wasn’t so much of a case of imposter syndrome (although that has popped up more than once during this book journey) as it was my tendency to downplay my successes. Is it because as a female I was socialized to do this? Am I afraid of being called out for flaunting my privilege? Am I still struggling with self-esteem issues stemming from a lifetime of mental illness?
Maybe all of those things, or maybe none of them.
For whatever reason, many of us get into a cycle of being afraid to share our well-deserved pride in our accomplishments. It’s not polite to brag. So many people are in worse situations.
But never owning our successes, passions, and goals means eventually we’ll pull away from them. We won’t be able to delight in the joy of them. We won’t be able to share the benefits. We stop promoting what we worked so hard to create. The fire in us starts to die.
So yeah, I am a writer and an author, and I see myself doing this for a long time. Yeah, this is my side hustle. Yeah, this is what I really love to do, and it feels freaking awesome.
Stay tuned for my upcoming book– “Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts” published by She Writes Press. Coming to a bookseller near you April 20, 2021! Create your own awesome blog with WordPress. Click this link for more information!