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Brian J. W. Lee is a writer. When he's not writing, he's plotting to plunge the world in a deep chasm of terror, darkness and screams. Sorry, did I get carried away?

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Winds of Change

It has only been a couple of weeks since my last post up in my House of the Raven, but my life has been changing rapidly like never before. As a gauge, my life had remained a routine affair before my Batam trip for 11 months while I was on a previous job, and 4 years while I was in university. So now, in just two weeks, I have been contending with shifts in both my lifestyle and fortune multiple times over.

Last week, I was jobless, with some chum change coming in from my side income as a tutor. I spent half my time reading, playing games and upgrading myself in subtle ways, the other half finding a job and writing (WRITING - the most important thing ever! Don't lose focus, you dog!). I was afraid that my ambition as a writer will be compromised by the lack of disposable income. Coming in as a close second, I was afraid that my life has become an irreversible mess with no prospects and future.

While I would never consider it a curse or anything bad, my relatives (the good ones, so no problems there) came to visit last week, stayed at my place. I was displaced from my room to the study room, where I slept on a thin mattress on the floor. While my grandma and aunt were fun, and I can certainly take a little discomfort (not even that, and I've fared well enough on the forest floor whenever I served in the army), it served to emphasize how hard the winds of change are blowing.

Then all of a suddenly, I was shortlisted and interviewed for a second time. Eventually, I was hired and started work on Monday, which was the 20th of March. It is a telco company, and the money looks fine. After training and probation, and if they want me on board, I could be looking at $2,200 a month, counting in performance bonuses. More if I do OT, and perform exceedingly well.

But it was a customer service job, with a million protocols, systems and rules to follow, with telco products to maintain. As a result, training is tough and consists of cramming manuals into your head. There would be interpersonal drama and politics (of course). At the end of each day, there would be little room for writing... Or almost no room if I have to do OT (which would be regular, they said) or happen to teach tuition for some side income... All this for a below-expected salary of $2,200 for a university graduate.

But another option hovered over my head, never ceasing to spear my brain every five second or so. I had recently expanded my side income form tuition by nearly twice. And there are many opportunities to turn it into a full-time job. The benefits? Very high pay while working short hours. I could earn $1,800 by working 15 hours a week. Or $3,600 30 hours a week. Even more if I graduate to teaching higher levels. It means freedom, and the energy to create and write. But there are disadvantages of course - I risk instability of income, and there are no benefits.

This leads to another recent shift, precipitated just today, when my trainer at the telco company caught wind (heh) of my considerations. Basically, right now, I am leaning towards sprinting out of the corporate world and office like a man chased after by demons with horns and wings and forked tail, and making my bucks as a tutor-of-fortune. I'd already expanded my tuition income from $600 to $900 (to be transparent) even as I took notes in my telco training.


Basically, what this means for my next book is that my progress has been a little slower. My pace is average at best, far from the 50% extra speed I planned. Basically, I've been falling asleep on my desk while editing my book due to this fiasco.

Potentially, this is ending soon, and potentially, if everything goes well with my tuition venture, I could be heading towards a golden age of writing, when I could keep increasing the speed of my writing or editing unchecked.

Or I could be looking at the most fiscally starved year of my life if I couldn't get enough tuition assignments... So, no pressure!

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