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Sold, but not out.

November 24, 2010

So they originally told me the Babble blog was going to go “live” on the 29th, which would give me time to write something here, a nice segue, as it were. (I don’t know why I thought that was important–but I did.) The editors asked for the first three posts–I thought they’d stagger putting them up, but they all went up at once. Actually, I still don’t know how anyone is finding it (since the blog does not seem to be anywhere on their site–and yet, it exists! A conundrum!). I only suspected something had been put up because my stats on this website jumped. (And how did that happen, since the blog is mysteriously on/not on the site? It’s Schrödinger’s Blog!)

The suddenness of it all left me scrambling a bit, as there were things I wanted to correct, and things I didn’t expect–for instance, I did not know the editors were going to use stock photos to illustrate each post. I’m not wild about them and will try to change them eventually. (The profile picture, it should be noted, is one I provided. I’m the one in the blue dress with the ponytail, and those are my two sons. Photo taken on our screened-in porch.) I think everything shall be sorted out soon, and one of the greatest joys of writing online is being able to change things after they’re published. Quite forgiving.

I had mixed feelings about writing for Babble. Wait, I do not mean to sound like an ingrate. First of all, as I mentioned, I am friends with Babble’s VIP. This leads me to suspect that being asked to write for them does not really “count”–that I am weaseling into this gig by way of connections, which does not seem a valid or fair way to land a job. However, the prospect of being allowed to write for pay without any editorial oversight, along with the guarantee that I will, if the blog attracts readers, pull in a small monthly income simply by showing up, was irresistible. My finances right now are a disaster, and they will only get worse. Until my kids are slightly older, I can’t get a full time job–due to the vagaries of my ex-husband’s schedule, I can’t count on him to watch the kids. Even if I got, say, a teaching job–the only work I’m really trained for–I would not be able to recoup my childcare costs. (And good luck with that, I might add. Even a position as an adjunct–slave labor, no benefits–is hard to find these days. Many colleges and secondary schools, if not most, have hiring freezes, and are making their tenured faculty teach extra classes instead of enslaving adjuncts.)

So I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing for now, since it means I can work in fits and starts and arrange my schedule around the kids. The uncertainty is wildly upsetting, however. So far I’ve been lucky enough to have plenty of work. But there is always the fear that the whole house of cards could come tumbling down at any minute. Editors get fired. Magazines fold. I buy my own health insurance, and pay murderous self-employment taxes. The advantages are huge, of course–I get to hang out with my kids, have them with me all summer, and during vacations. I have a great deal of freedom.

Ah, I’m protesting too much. What happened was this–I had the great good fortune to be invited to do more of the kind of writing I’ve been doing on this website–which has been more rewarding and somehow easier (no deadlines! no editors! no mandatory topics! no research!) than any writing I’ve done before. For money! So I jumped at it.

I imagined the two blogs would be very different–I hope they will be different enough that each one remains interesting. But the truth is, it’s still me writing both of them, and while the Babble blog will focus more on the practicalities of divorce and the rearing of children and so forth, I will probably be just as pretentious and long-winded over there as I am here. I will try to update both sites as often as I can. I think the posts here will probably be slightly less frequent and slightly longer and perhaps more essay-like. And more pretentious. There will be a button you can click to get from this site to Babble, once I figure out how to install it.

I am massively grateful to all of you who are reading and commenting. I have a little map-thing installed, and I can see where my readers come from, and it is quite a thrill to see those little pins spread out all over the globe. I will link to the Babble site whenever I post, and hope you will read it. And hope you’ll let me know if there are things you want me to write about, or are tired of hearing about, and so forth.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Davida permalink
    November 24, 2010 2:20 pm

    I just wanted to say: a lot (a lot!) of jobs are the result of connections (call it “networking”) rather than just being chosen out of a pile of applications. So stop thinking this doesn’t count! Knowing the VIP wouldn’t have meant anything if you weren’t also a great storyteller with an interesting writing style and story. (Which you are. This comment is meant to be a compliment.)

    All that to say: congratulations on the paying gig.

  2. November 24, 2010 3:07 pm

    That sounds like a twisty, winding kind of apology. Which you have no reason to make. The Babble gig is great and I can’t think of a better use for old college boyfriends. Thrilled to have even more fabulous IrBr content on the web!

  3. November 24, 2010 3:31 pm

    “I buy my own health insurance, and pay murderous self-employment taxes.”

    I certainly feel your pain there… after 3 fees increases over the past 3 mos (thank you healthcare reform! I refuse to believe that ALL of this is just bcz I passed that imaginary middle-aged line, over to 46) – I had to downgrade my plan to a PPO w/higher out-of-pocket expenses… Let’s hope nothing goes wrong w/MY health, at least for the next 10 yrs until I get my boy thru college!

    • Indie Mom permalink
      November 26, 2010 1:17 pm

      My premiums went up recently and so I dropped my 3 kids (they are still covered on husband’s insurance) to avoid the increased cost and downgraded my plan, too. So not only will I have higher out-of-pocket expenses, it means the kids aren’t double covered and so there will be co-pays now on everything from dr. appts and ER visits to pharmaceuticals.

  4. Libby permalink
    November 24, 2010 5:12 pm

    Very much looking forward to more pretentious long-windedness from you. ;o)

    Happy Thanksgiving,

  5. November 24, 2010 8:59 pm

    You mean, that picture of the toy people? I kept reading your note over again, since you sounded so serious, but then in the Babble profile, I only see the toy people. But they are indeed, a mom and two boys. So I guess that’s you. 🙂

    Anyway, congrats on the paying gig. Do not apologize for it. You’re a great writer.

    • irretrievablybroken permalink*
      November 25, 2010 12:20 am

      What, that’s not how you pictured me? I actually always identified with the little girl with the yellow braids, if you know the one I mean. But I had to be the grown up for the picture….

      I am obsessed with those Fisher Price little people and have millions of them, and wish I had millions more. They’re discontinued–a choking hazard, apparently–did you know?

  6. Mary permalink
    November 24, 2010 9:46 pm

    I really enjoy your writing here and at Babble. It’s honest and well written. I rarely have anything to contribute as my situation is different than yours. But I will keep reading. Congrats on the job. Don’t fret about the connection. There is some stat somewhere that shows that the vast number of jobs are through connections. If your writing were lousy, they wouldn’t have asked. But it isn’t. So they did.

  7. November 24, 2010 11:10 pm

    congratulations on your new gig! no need to apologise!! just run with it! 🙂
    have a great thanksgiving holiday!

  8. Celeste permalink
    November 25, 2010 12:10 am

    I’ve always enjoyed your writing and when I see such good writing, I always hope the writer will find a way to make it pay. I sometimes feel a little guilty getting to read material of such fine quality for free online; it’s just so incredibly refreshing after slogging through so much debris. Well done, you!

    I hope your holiday will be lovely as well.

  9. Donna permalink
    November 25, 2010 12:22 am

    Congrats on the paying gig! I enjoy your writing wherever it’s posted. Good luck with everything, and hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing with us.

  10. November 25, 2010 3:28 am

    Just a quick question. . . have you thought of doing google ads? I know most of the blogs i read the authors initially didnt have or didnt want but one both eventually did go that road and its not been too bad for them they were both in need of additional funds and i guess they must get something for it. One of them even has a reader who advertises on her site. Just an idea!

  11. Maggie permalink
    November 25, 2010 9:48 am

    Good luck with the Babble blog. I hope it works out for you, which I am sure it will if it gets advertised. I have no reason to read this blog (never married, no kids) except that I love the way you write and the thoughtful insight you bring to talking about your life. I can only imagine what your writing would mean to someone whose been through some of the things you talk about. So I wish you the best of luck and wild success.

  12. Celeste permalink
    November 25, 2010 3:10 pm

    I think you should write about venturing back into love.

    I also want to take on the troll who blamed you for having had an emotional affair during your marriage. That can only happen if your emotional needs weren’t being met in the marriage, which is something truly valid to consider. Maybe there’s a topic in that–perhaps one or both of you changed and the marriage became doomed as a root cause of no longer matching up.

    • November 28, 2010 2:00 am

      Thanks for your comment. It really says something about the complexity of marital relationships .. personalities of each spouse, and what each needs / wants from each other.

  13. December 2, 2010 9:27 am

    Welcome to Babble! I’ve enjoyed writing there for the past year. They don’t do as much as they once did to promote the personal bloggers (I’m always amazed anyone finds me at all), but I’ve enjoyed my freedom to write whatever I like. I thought I’d missed something when your three posts appeared at one time, but I enjoyed reading them and look forward to reading more.

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