Sometimes freelancing, well, sucks. Day to day I vacillate on whether I know what I'm doing or should chuck it all in and try to look for a secure job, though who knows if any job is truly "secure" these days. Maybe not day to day, but this month that is accurate, and certainly not a month goes by when I don't wonder if I should be doing this, if I'm pulling my financial weight in my household, if I have what it takes to make a living at this (I believe in myself as a writer, but you have to write a ton and edit lots of maybe-they'll-sell-maybe-they-won't anthologies to make a living). So yes, I do find myself thinking jealously of my friends with steady jobs or other means of financial security. Then I remember that my #1 life goal right now is to be a work at home mom, and while it will be up to the universe whether I get to the mom part, it seems, the work at home part is up to me.
Mostly, what I've learned in the last 3 years as a full-time freelancer is that you never know what will happen, good or bad. Gigs magically arrive and are sometimes over before they even start. Sometimes the gig I'm excited about at first becomes arduous and next to impossible. I will be reading and following and trying to absorb by osmosis The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte so I can get my work life in line with what I want to be putting out into the world and what I'm good at. I will be focusing more on teaching erotica and sex writing in the new year, which is part of why I started my Erotica Writing Tip Tuesday posts. They're also, it should be clear, a reminder to me that I can do this writing thing, even when it's hard, even when I don't feel like I have a clear path, even amidst rejection.
All that is a way to preface one of the 3 giant career gifts I was given this year. I say "gifts" because that is how they each felt, even though they were gifts I've been working toward since leaving law school sans degree back in 1999. That is something that will forever hang over my head, but it was also a learning experience that taught me that even if you push yourself, sometimes a career path just isn't right, and something about this one is. Which is why when I woke up at CatalystCon in September to an email from the editor of Philadelphia City Paper asking me if I wanted to write a sex column for them, even though I'm actually a Jersey girl, felt like this wondrous gift. I've never had a steady weekly gig like this and sometimes that's a lot of pressure, but it also pushes me to seek out and find topics and events and people I wouldn't have otherwise. Another key difference aside from word count and timing from my Voice column is that I'm in a live-in monogamous going-on-three-years relationship. There's less to write about my own sex life than there was in my single days, and that's a good thing. I will probably always write about my life, but it will probably be more about me as a hoarder and a traveler and other aspects of me than just what I do in bed, though there are hints of it in the columns below, like when I prefer sex, what I wore for my first pegging, the joy of blowjobs and such.
I have no idea how long it will last, because you never do with these things, but my dream is to get to write a column a week for all of 2015, to stretch myself and grow and get sharper about writing to a relatively small word count, to showcase for myself and my readers about aspect of sex I/they hadn't thought of before. Bottom line: for however long this column lasts and my stint as a freelancer lasts, I will be grateful. I will also work harder to nurture and sustain my career so I can be the mashup writer/editor/teacher/speaker/blogger I am now.
So as the year wraps up with this final 2014 column, I wanted to say thank you to the paper, the universe and whatever other forces gave me this opportunity, and to highlight the columns I've written so far. In chronological order from the first one to this week's, here are my City Paper sex columns:
"Are you a slut?"
"Why Sex Ed Weeks on campus make sense"
"It's Sex O'Clock, time for a weekend romp"
"No topic's taboo at this Philly Erotic Literary Salon"
"Best-selling sex toys for couples of all kinds"
"Pegging for the first time"
"When it comes to sex, don't tell me where to get pleasure"
"Saying thanks for the sex lessons over the years"
"How to talk dirty without sounding cheesy"
"Niche porn films face censorship fight in Britain"
"With personal lube, slippery when wet"
"Meet a happy 29-year-old virgin"