As you may know, I’m self employed and have been for a year or so now.
Just lately, I’ve noticed there’s something of a dichotomy in the types of work I do.
On the one hand, I write. I write columns and articles, I ghost write blogs, I write web copy.
On the other hand, I do book keeping work for several clients.
Even stranger: I enjoy the book keeping, at least as much as I enjoy the writing.
With my writing, even with what I write on my own blog, I never know whether I’ve done it “right” until someone else has looked at it. I can write what I think is a cracking piece, but when I post it on the blog, it hardly gets any hits. Or when I send it to my client they come back with “thanks, but it’s not quite what I’m after…” Still, I keep doing it because I love it. I love coming up with a new idea, or re-hashing an old one. I love that I have clients with such varied areas of business and expertise that I can write on a huge range of topics. I even love writing my weekly column for the local paper – despite panicking over a topic and barely getting it in by deadline every single week!
With the book keeping, in most aspects of the work it’s either right or wrong. I can be handed an envelope of crumpled receipts, and a few hours later I have a neatly annotated credit card bill or bank statement, with each entry accounted for, each receipt clipped neatly into a pile. It’s either right, or it’s wrong. The payment to that supplier was either £82.50, or it wasn’t. One of my clients apologises as she hands me boxes filled with receipts and instructions as to what she needs me to do with them. Yes, they look daunting when I first open the box. But there is a very satisfying feeling to be found from sitting down with that pile for a few hours, and being able to make some sort of order out of it.
On the face of it, these two aspects of my work seem to be completely incongruous with each other. Book keepers have leather elbow patches and habitually push their glasses up all day, whereas writers wear dirty cardigans and… habitually push their glasses up. Oh, wait!
I used to try and stay away from the book keeping work; I didn’t want to be the sort of person who did book keeping, I suppose. I used to work full time for a local company, doing all of their accounts and payroll (as well as office admin and other duties), and when I left a part of the reason was that they had offered to pay for me to do CIMA qualifications and become an accountant… and I didn’t feel like I wanted to do that. Yet here I am, ten years later, maintaining accounts for several different clients across a range of different platforms. It took me a while to admit I enjoyed this sort of thing!
I was talking to someone about this the other day, and she pointed out that, being a Gemini, I am apparently prone to such differences – to love something as creative and subjective as writing, as well as something as black-and-white as book keeping. Apparently people born in May/June are just like that.
I’m not sure if that’s a bunch of codswallop, or actually something that makes perfect sense.
Do you do anything that makes you “typical” of your star sign? Do you believe there is such a thing?