A productive Self-Reliance Business group meeting

The five of us met in our usual spot – the font room of the Billings Stake building.  It’s just as far for me to go to the Billings Stake building as it is for me to go to the Billings South Stake building (where I attend Sacrament meeting), so it’s convenient enough for me.  We began at 1600 hrs and finished in only an hour and a half instead of taking the full two hours.  That ended up being a good thing, since one of our members has come down with shingles on the right side of his body.  Poor fellow.  He made it through our meeting, though.  Tough fellow!  My friend Claudia showed me her book keeping system and told me where to order the book from.  Dome makes them, and she gets them from http://www.officesupply.com – I have, since returning home, ordered one of them.  It’s so straightforward!  She explained to me how it works and it was so simple it was scary!

Our meeting this afternoon was very productive.  We all had great ideas for one another and most of the group members are doing well in their businesses.  I might be the exception…  Okay, I am the exception.  My business is forming up more slowly, which is the nature of the timeline of my sort of business (freelancing), but it’s a bit frustrating to be so far behind the curve.  Hopefully, though, I’ll be able to get some queries out and some writing done for some interested editors very soon.  Writing is a different sort of business, indeed.  It’s very subjective, perhaps moreso than other business types, due to the content.  The content is very personal and writers have their own personal style.  Each writer has to find their niche and a few editors who like their style and are willing to work with that style.  That’s not so easy, it turns out.  Throw in business licenses, business names, and the like, and you’ve got your plate full.

Writing is tricky.  For example, I want to write about climbing.  There are only three magazines that I know of that publish climbing articles.  As far as books go, I don’t yet have a manuscript ready on that scale.  It all depends on what you want to publish, and IF you’ve previously been published.  I, personally, have not been published outside of college poetry magazines.  My thesis didn’t get published, so that’s out.  I sold a few articles and reviews to an eager editor who has not yet published them, so I’m still waiting on those so that I can present them as “clips” to other editors.

As far as making weekly sales, that’s not exactly how freelancing works.  I’m going to be incorporating freelance illustration and photography into my freelance writing work as well, so that should bring me a bit more attention once I find the right editors to look at my work.  That requires time.  It all requires time.  Time to write.  Time to illustrate.  Time to photograph.  Time to query.  Time to look up how to query.  Time to wait for the editor(s) to get back to me on a query.  Time to format the manuscript.  Time to present the manuscript.  Time for the editor(s) to review the manuscript.  Time for the manuscript to be revised.  Time for the manuscript to be submitted again.  Time for the editor(s) to decide whether or not to publish the  manuscript.  Time for the manuscript to be published.  Time until the manuscript is published.  And finally, time until you get paid!  The pay, unfortunately, comes last, after the contract.  Oh, yes, don’t forget the time to negotiate a contract!

What I really need to protect is time to climb!  Climbing comes first, and then writing.  That’s my rule, because that’s what keeps me functional with chronic and severe PTSD with anxiety and depression.  Climbing is paramount to my writing success!  Writing is paramount to digging myself out of the financial hole that I’m stuck in.  Getting published is the key to that next shovel-full of dirt being dumped into the financial hole of debt so I can claw my way out and see the sunlight again.  So the ideas and suggestions of my fellow business owners are critical!  They know how to do business and they’re successful at it!  I can learn from them, even though my business works on a different timeline.  The principles are the same, regardless of the timeline.  Climbing and writing – that’s what I want to do.  And so it shall be…

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