Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Decisions, decisions

I knew the time would come one day when I may have to choose between the need to earn money from outside and the need to continue promoting my book and begin work on the next one, but I hoped it would not happen quite so soon as it has. Today my boss made me an offer which I may not be able to refuse.

He mentioned before Christmas that he may be able to offer me some extra hours in the New Year on a more permanent basis and the moment has come for me to make that choice. At the moment I am contracted to work for 20 hours a week at a basic rate of £5.53 per hour. It is not a fortune, but more than I have earned or are likely to from book sales. That is sad but true. He has now told me though that he can offer me up to 32 hours a week, or the equivalent of 4 whole days. I am in a quandary as to what to do.

While I can't deny that I do need the money, I am also torn between the need to have time during the week to continue telephoning book stores and getting the sales, and the need to kick start the second phase of my writing career by writing some articles for magazines hopefully to be published, and also by beginning work on my second book. Until now I just have not had the time to do either of these things. I also of course need time to continue with my role as Editor of the village newsletter. This is not a major problem though, since most of it can be done in the evenings and weekends - indeed most past Editors have worked full time while acting in this role, so I certainly wouldn't be the last to have to continue with this tradition.

Having done the sums, I don't really feel that I can turn the extra money down, as I have to face facts - namely that book sales at their present level will not pay the bills. I have been living on savings for the past two years since I resigned from my previous job and need to start saving to replenish those dwindling funds, and also paying into a pension. If I do not start this soon then I know that I am risking a retirement living in poverty, and that is something that I really do not want to have to face. One has to then be practical and face facts.

What though is the solution, when one also has a book to promote and write. It is a difficult decision to have to make, but one that thankfully may have a solution.

When I was first interviewed for this job I stated that I did not wish to work on Saturdays, since this is the day when all book promotional activities, such as book signings, fairs etc inevitably took place. When I look back though over the past few months, realistically how many of these have I done? Not that many. Last year I did three holistic fairs in which I made a loss, one mind, body and spirit weekend at our church at which I made about £5, and one book signing in Waterstones, Staines during which I sold just one copy. Fortunes are not made by this and it seems that my time would be better spent at work where I earn more money, especially on the busiest day of the week, which would earn me even more.

This evening Coran and I watched the film Bruce Almighty which was shown on BBC1. It was a bit corny, but one of the best spiritual films made in recent years. It is the tale of a man whose life is not working in the way that he would like, so he prays to God and is temporarily given his powers, so that he can now more tangibly create his own reality. Of course we do that already, but the film is made to illustrate a point. Towards the end anyway, after Bruce's girlfriend has left him and he is involved in a car accident, God asks him to say a prayer for something that he really wants and desires. He says that he wants Grace, his ex to meet someone who sees her in the way that he sees her right now in that moment as he is in God's presence and saying that prayer.

That got me thinking as to what it is that I really and honestly do want. The answer is that I want this book to be a success, that is to me more important than anything else, and so I am not ready to give up on it yet by returning to work 4 days a week and scuppering my chances of that success. I also though have to be practical and pay the bills ans start to save some money.

The answer then is for me to work Saturdays as that way I will still have 2 days off each week, during the week, to continue doing what I need to do to give this book the best chance that I can. My boss is a decent and honest man who will understand this and give me this opportunity. He needs another weekend person, since one of his Saturday staff has just resigned, so this is the obvious solution. There will be times when I do need a Saturday off, but I am sure he will be accommodating enough to allow me to work an extra day in the week as and when this happens, provided of course I give him plenty of notice. This then I what I have decided to do. It seems the best thing all round, after all, all I ever really do on a Saturday is sit around doing rubbish and trivial things, so I may as well be at work anyway.

Not sure what Coran will think of the idea - but actually I think he will thoroughly approve, and see the logic therein.

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