To write, to go to school, to return to my former type of work, or what?

For several weeks now, I have been contemplating what the next step in my life should be. My choices consist of going to college and actually finishing to get a Bachelor’s Degree, ( I already have all but 6 hours of my freshman year done!), to return to my former type of work, which was nursing as a Licensed Vocational Nurse, or just stay home and write, hoping and praying that I can start to get some articles or stories placed in newspapers or magazines who will agree to pay me for my work!

My dilemma is that I love to write, and I want to finish school. I have spent over 20 years working as a nurse and honestly, if I don’t get in just the right job, I wouldn’t be able to stick with it for long. Most of the time in nursing you have extended periods of standing, usually lifting, lots of bending over; all of these are things that really bother my back and put me in pain!

I don’t really want to go to work where I am in pain for the entire shift and then come home and stick myself to the heating pad! I would rather find a nursing job, if that is the way I decide to go, that is at least 75% computer or sitting in some way, and there just aren’t too many jobs like that out there. I have high hopes of something that is going on in our town which is an extension of a ministry I currently work with, East Texas Pregnancy Help Center. I just don’t know if it would pan out to be a paying job or not. I am at the point in my life that I need at least a part time job, with pay.

I want to finish school, but I’m not sure whether I want to major in Psychology and minor in communications, or major in communications and minor in psych or even English. I know with the psych or English degrees, I would be able to teach if I chose. The communications degree would give me some clout behind my name as I attempt to get my stories published. I love both subjects so I am really torn about this. I am leaning towards majoring in communications with a minor in Psych, if I can handle a minor as well!

The bottom line is the fact that I HAVE TO GET A JOB! At least on a part-time basis. I have to do something making my own money so I can stop feeling guilty when I ask my husband for money for gas or groceries, because I know that usually to do either one, we are having to push payment of one of our bills back. When I say we live from paycheck to paycheck, it really should be more like we live from paycheck to praying for a check!

Thing is, we went from a two person income a few years ago when I was really having some health problems, to a single income. Now this single income was sufficient to pay the bills and allow us to put food on the table as well as cover some of the unexpected things, like a flat tire or working on our well, etc. But now, since my husband was demoted last year, his pay was cut. Many people who know of the demotion, do not realize that his pay was cut as well. That has made for a very tough year for us! We are hoping that things are finally settling down and he will soon begin to get his pay at the same level that he was prior to the demotion. Don’t know if he is going to get his title back or not, but we will worry about that when it comes time. Right now our priority is to get his pay back to “normal.” This cut in pay is a huge part of the reason I am looking for a job.

I know that many of you are aware that I volunteer at our local pregnancy help center, and I love it! Ideally, I would be able to go to work there, even on a part-time basis, and at least making myself some pocket change as well as perhaps grocery money. I just don’t think that is going to happen. I love working there, but it has come time for me to find a paying job. Hopefully, I will find a job that will still allow me to volunteer at the center.

I really want to write. I love newswriting, in fact I won an award for newswriting in high school and qualified to participate in the state competition, but I let a boyfriend convince me to stay home that weekend, so I didn’t go to the competition. Looking back, I think “if only I had gone to that competition, maybe I would have won a scholarship!” But, I stayed home for the weekend instead.

I have already written one story for our local paper which also appeared on our regional paper, and yes, I have copies of both articles!! Talk about excited! I was so excited to see my name in print as the author of an article I almost could not contain myself. But, there was no pay involved in writing that article.

I have several ideas for additional articles, but I think it is only fair that if I am chasing these stories down, gathering the info, and then compiling a story, I should be getting paid! I know of some paid reporters that sit at their desks and try to think of things to write about, while they are on the payroll! It is strictly my opinion, but I believe if you are  being paid to write news stories, then you should be chasing down the good stories and writing them, and writing them well! But that doesn’t appear to happen much any more. It seems reporters would rather sit at their desk, maybe make a phone call or two and ask someone else to basically write the story for them, by sending the reporter all the facts and information regarding the subject and then the reporter takes the info received and creates a story out of it. I’m not saying that is a bad thing! I have done it myself. But you can’t do it that way all the time! Sometimes you have to get off your hindend and go chase a story down! I want the opportunity to do that! But not for free!

Am I wrong in wanting to be paid for my work? There are some things that I do for other people that most freelancers would charge heftily for, but I do it for free. Should I put a stop to the freebies and explain that I need to be paid to do this work? Or should I just leave the places that I so dearly love to enable me to find a job that will provide me with a paycheck? That just seems like a greedy way of looking at things, but it is really more of a survival thing. If I don’t start bringing in some money to our family finances soon, we are going to be seriously in pain!

Now, mind you, we have not hit the hottest summer months as of yet, but my electric bill already doubled last month!! I just don’t konw how we are going to pay these enormous electric bills, along with all the others, and have anything left for food! I know God will provide, but I also know that He does not expect us to just sit back and wait for Him to drop a fish in our lap!! I believe He expects us to work for the blessings He gives us. I don’t believe God created us to be people who just sit around and do nothing all day and just wait for God to pull us up out of our chairs, off the couch, or wherever, and send us to a job that he just dropped in our laps. I believe that He wants us out in the world working so that we can help others to see how He loves us and provides for us.

I am praying that God will grant me wisdom to make the right decision to stay or go at the center, to go to school, and where do I need to go to work at. If at a local paper, (there’s only one), do I continue to send them free stories to publish for free? My, and my husbands concern is that as long as I am giving them something for free, they are not going to offer to pay for it! But I do enjoy it so much!

In fact, I have an interview tomorrow (well today now) for a possible position as a sports statistics ‘reporter’ of sorts. If hired, I will gather stats on games and other activities and post them to a website for all the fans to have immediate access to their favorite teams progress.

Please pray for me to make the right decisions, in all areas. Do I continue to volunteer, which I so dearly love? Do I go ahead and start back to school for the f all semester? And how hard to I pursue my writing career? Do I write letters to the editors of a couple of local newspaper, as well as regionals, and pitch my writing ability for pay? Believe me, that is what I really want to do, but I know He is not going to just drop it on me. He expects me to get out and locate and apply for that position that is just right for me.

I just love to write, or can you tell? Have a wonderful day everyone!

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