Sally Champion starts to wrap up her 20-week blog series about the process of setting up a part-time business as a writer.
Episode 19: “Some sort of breakthrough”
Last week I talked about some of my experiences in hospital. I want readers to know that happened in the 1960’s — a time, I think, when the medical “fix it” model reigned supreme — and a time when people weren’t as aware as they are now about the psychological needs of children.
I’ve educated myself about the effects of the experience and I’ve done what I can to mitigate it. These days I don’t judge myself too harshly. If I get off-track I just try and gently get myself back on it again.
I’ve read that Freud thought that love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness. I have always interpreted that as meaning that, to be fully human, it’s necessary to make the effort to extend yourself for something outside yourself and towards other people.
I want to continue to try and do that.
Sometimes while writing this blog about becoming self-employed I have felt complete despair about HOW I can continue to try and do it. I’ve grappled with the rules around the benefit system, worried about the process of getting work, just about driven myself crazy being on my own so much ( after the conviviality of office life), thought I’ve found solutions, then had to discard them, had a vision of what I wanted to achieve, then changed it, and so on.
Now at the eleventh hour I think I have made some sort of break through.
Firstly, I have discovered that you can get the Invalid’s Benefit and stop and start it around any work you may be able to do. So if I have a job that takes me two weeks to complete I can stop the benefit for two weeks then go back on it while I get the next piece of work, or rest if I need to. I quizzed the man in the call centre around whether the amount you earned was factored into the equation and he assured me it was the time it took you to do the work that was relevant.
This fits with my needs so well I’m tempted to dismiss it as too good to be true. And that may well turn out to be the case. (I have been in receipt of erroneous information before and the detail of this arrangement isn’t covered by any written information produced by Work and Income, that I can find.)
Still it’s definitely something I will follow up. If it doesn’t pan out I will think of another way.
Secondly, I trust myself more now. I feel confident that I will find a way.
Initially when I started writing this, I imagined I was going to outline a linear process. I wanted the posts to be entertaining (I expected to be having more fun) and I wanted to lay out a series of stepping stones other people could follow.
It hasn’t turned out quite like that. If I have any readers left, I hope you don’t feel too exhausted by the machinations of thought (mine) you’ve had to put up with.
Still the first job I did went well and I’m on the look-out for the next one. As I said I don’t feel nearly as frightened these days.
So that’s progress, isn’t it?
Catch up with Sally for the last time next week.