Overwhelmed and Underpaid

I am not one to complain … not much anyway.  I only have myself to blame for the pressure I find myself under. Some days I wonder why I do this to myself, and then it hits me–I asked for it. There was a time when I wished for the things I have now. But sometimes I forget to enjoy it.

I can’t remember the last time I felt bored. There is always something to do. But that’s a good thing. When I’m not working, I am creating new recipes for my new-found lifestyle (vegan-ish) and spending time with the grandkids, who seem to jump from being 7 – full of fun and wanting to spend time with Grandma – to 13, when all of a sudden it’s like,  “Grandma who?”

Needless to say, I fill my time wisely, which makes for priceless memories, or a way to satisfy my obsessive nature.

I have been away from my blog for quite a while, but it’s not because I was bored with it. All of my spare time has been spent on building my freelance media business and online newspaper, hiawatha-news.com.  I am also helping the Hiawatha History Commission publish a book for the city’s 70th anniversary next year.

On the side, I do marketing work for Tommy’s Restaurant, and help the City of Hiawatha put together its monthly newsletter. Periodically, I hold self-publishing workshops at the library, lead a monthly writing group, and volunteer with the Friends of the Hiawatha Library, as well as the Hiawatha History Commission. I recently started a new business, Turn the Page Publishing, which specializes in helping people write and publish their life story. And I still work full-time at a local car dealership, because, you know, bills.

I have also been writing my own books. My latest, Mind Games, is in the final stages of editing.

See what I mean?

One thing I lack is a knack for time management. I am constantly working on several projects at once, and if I get distracted, it’s hard to come back to it right away. What happens then is that too much time goes by and I forget where I left off. I like projects with deadlines. Those are the ones that get my undivided attention.

It’s good to have goals. I suppose mine is managing my time a little better. And maybe enjoying life a little more. In the words of Albert Einstein, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” Actually, I would say the older I get, the more I realize what I don’t know. But he’s the genius.

There are those who will tell you it’s not good to be a workaholic, but there are worse things. I feel most alive when I am busy, and I feel like I am contributing something to the world. But as good as it is, it can also be overwhelming, and there are times when I need to rest.

I need to remember to slow down and enjoy the ride. The thing about life, “It goes on.”

“In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on. In all the confusions of today, with all our troubles . . . with politicians and people slinging the word fear around, all of us become discouraged . . . tempted to say this is the end, the finish. But life — it goes on. It always has. It always will. Don’t forget that.”

~ Robert Frost



Why do I need libel insurance?

I spoke to my agent last week about getting insurance for my newspaper. She asked me a series of questions regarding what I would be publishing, how often, etc. After she got what she needed she sent me an application/questionnaire to fill out.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Actually, I spent the next couple of hours trying to decipher the questions and answering them to the best of my ability.

So why do I even need libel insurance? I mulled it over and decided that if I was careful and checked all my facts and got all my quotes right, I wouldn’t need insurance.I would be all right without it, wouldn’t I?

A thought occured to me, and I suddenly saw myself up in front of a judge, telling him that I assumed my source was telling the truth. I saw the gavel hit the bench (do they do that anymore?) and the judge pronounced me guilty.

The worst case scenario: I would have to pay some ungodly amount of money for defamation of character out of my own pocket, and I would go bankrupt all because I didn’t have insurance to back me up.

I know for a fact there are a lot of things that can go wrong when trying to put out a paper. having to go through every single story before it gets place on the page is time consuming and mind numbing, and there might be one that slips by, which could be somewhat unflattering, or the wording might be off just enough to upset someone.

Inevitably, I will have to stand up and defend myself someday.

So yes, I do need libel insurance. It doesn’t give me the excuse to get lazy and not check facts, but at least I’ll be able to sleep at night knowing that someone has my back.