Work/Life Balance for Side Hustling Creative Frelancers
by Brianna Tosswill
I definitely meant to write about the launch in January, or possibly about this stellar book I just read, but this has been the overwhelming theme in my life lately. Let’s start with some transparency. Penrose Press lives in facebook chat and google hangouts. Our projects are produced in living rooms and shared studio spaces on weekends and evenings. Our budgets are carefully calculated constructions of employee discounts, cost comparisons, and the generosity of people in our lives who believe in us and have connections here and there. And it’s working. Slowly but surely we gain traction and build our network of talented humans deserving of your attention.
Outside of Penrose Press, I have two regular part-time jobs and an extended (3 month) freelance contract. Some of it is creative, stimulating and fun, some of it is wonderfully weird (Natalie and I are working with some other creatives on a tax-themed musical, stay tuned) some of it is brain-cell killing and soul crushing (we’ve all been there). Mostly, it’s exhausting to try to fit everything in. It’s not the time actually working, it’s the time spent figuring out which jobs won’t overlap with one another, how long they will last, what degree of precarity they warrant, and finally: will they allow me to pay my bills? I’m not remotely unique in this sense. Natalie works a full time+ job, tutors and works freelance occasionally. Egor is a masters student and does freelance graphic design. Rebecca, Terry and Joyce all juggle classes and multiple paid and volunteer positions. Oh, and we all have had a small income from Penrose projects.
And here’s something crazy exciting. We have cool, creative, go-getters reaching out to us about summer internship positions. If they all knew how much we would love to be able to take them up on that, and we hope to in the future! I spend all of my transit time making calculations on my phone and notes in my sketchbook on the subject of making this a viable business. It’s there. I see it. It’s not getting clearer, per-se, but I believe it’s getting closer. Somehow, the mistakes I’m making and the experience I’m gaining are preparing me to take opportunities when they present themselves and build this publishing house into a place that supports emerging creatives in a real way: that’s emotional and financial for those who were wondering.
Anyways, the best way for us to grow is to publish more, better stories every year and as we approach our first birthday the writing submissions are trickling in. This is your chance, dear emerging author, join our small, haphazard family, we miss you already.
Micropublishing Blog by Brianna and Natalie of Penrose Press