We’re over the halfway point of the second calendar year of my Amsterdam Programme.

That ‘programme’ is sort of generally my life here: working as a creative freelancer, and pursuing writing and performing professionally. It’s been going really well. i’m writing lots, have been traveling quite a bit, had the opportunity to develop a couple of new shows, and produce some comedy and storytelling events. It’s actually even worked out to be reasonably – though not wildly – financially successful.

So, yeah. Pretty good. But what’s the next step?

The next phase in my freelance career is a hard pivot – almost a straight buttonhook. Starting early Monday morning I will be returning to office environs for a five month stint as a communications and writing/editing guy (!)

That’s right: I’ll be back working an actual job; going to an actual office for four of five workdays, thus shrinking my freelance time down to just one day a week.

It’s weird. I feel like I’ve been championing this freelance life so hard. But as productive as it sometimes feels (and I don’t know how much of this has to do with the slow summer season), I have a lot of free time. A lot. And much of that free time gets spent doing not too much. I’d love to be more focused and productive, but after eighteen months, I’m just not satisfied with my output. I’m a pretty good boss, but not a great one. I need greater output to justify the amount of hours spent ‘freelancing.

So perhaps re-upping my professional time in a corporate office environment will allow me to refocus on what I love ‘(and want to be doing when I’m not in an office again). Or maybe I’ll find that the office work and regular paycheque are worth it, and I can balance the freelance endeavours and a regular gig.

I’m surprisingly excited about this return to office life. The timing hasn’t hurt at all; the prospect of regular income has allowed me to face my 37th birthday with a surplus of equanimity. I’m doing alright. I didn’t need this job, but I chose it. And my continued employability is now a demonstrable fact!!

Five steady paycheques to take me through Christmas, and with enough off-time negotiated to allow me space to do shows and travels I’ve already got planned, including my upcoming trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

So really this is about moving freelancing down to a bite-sized chunk of time, while getting regularly paid to write and edit feature articles for a lifestyle magazine (which is a large part of my new job). So… pretty good, I’d say.

Also, as a side note, the company I’ll be working for is a booze conglomerate, so I’m hoping there will be a couple of new snazzy cocktail recipes to add to my arsenal at the end of my contract, and a few sips of some refreshing cocktails along the way.