There come certain points in every career where a person gets a bit too confident, a bit too settled. Gone are the days of winging it. They know their job, they’ve become proficient at it. Little routines have built up to make things easier and all the humiliating mistakes are in the past where they belong, sage lessons but distant milestones. And then a choice is made. It’s not always conscious, not always immediate, but it happens sooner than you’d think.
To circle, or to soar.
Circling is comfortable, predictable. The work comes in, the work gets done, and on and on. Regrettably, my days are spent circling at the moment. In my ‘proper’ job, that is. I just…drift. My heart belongs elsewhere. You might say it belongs to you.
When I work on an editing project, everything becomes intense, focused, full of meaning. My eyes are eagle-sharp, my mind burns with energy. I taste the words, scent the meaning, feel the themes and the arcs on the breeze – and then I dive!
I find editing a deeply satisfying way to spend my time, for reasons I can only obliquely sense. I find them hard to convey. It feels…right. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am, and that’s why I want to make this my full-time career.
That’s why I want to soar.
So I’ve been working hard at The Fine-toothed Comb, squeezing in edits in the mornings before the old 9-5 starts. Staying up pretty late, too. Days off are not really off. Holidays are rarely just that. But I’ve started to build up a decent reputation over the last couple of years and I’m very happy with my testimonials. I’m often tired but I’m also fulfilled in ways I never dreamed possible. As time goes on I intend to reduce my day-job hours further so I can spend more time doing what I love. That’ll take a significant leap of faith, so I need to prove to myself I can match my income, or else achieve stability with a small decrease.
I’ve got some regular clients, sure. My face is getting to be pretty well-known on the scene (though God help me if I ever decide to shave this silly facial fuzz off). But I could end up circling here forever if I’m not careful, scraping a bare-bones living but always a meal or two away from starvation.
It’s time to do something about that. Time to leave the comfort zone.