Is it possible to work contract jobs (there are a few in the pipeline) and make a sustainable living?
What would you do to pay off the debt, and build something meaningful and sustainable if you were in this situation? How would you go about attacking the debt, and also building a meaningful career, despite this challenging situation?
Rarely will you ever "live well" working a job.
Trick to living well without a job is to treat your work like farming.
With farming you prep your dirt, plant, tend, after sometimes a long while, your harvest is ready.
How this translates generally, "provide massive value, in your niche, every day + eventually your harvest will be ready."
Simple way to do this might relate to your writing.
1) Attend Meetup groups related to writing.
2) Speak to Meetup groups about writing.
3) Develop a course about how you monetize your writing.
If you make $1000/month writing, develop a course about...
"How to make $1000/month writing."
People how make $0/month from writing, will be interested in your course.
Some "tough love" needs to be applied here.
You don't have to have a job just because everyone else does. That's fine. But you do need an income. Life costs money in the civilized world, and it's a crime to be without funds.
This person sounds disempowered. That's the main issue here and the attitude must be adjusted or there won't be forward progress.
The fact is YOU are in total control over your destiny and if you give that power up to just sit there, nothing will happen. You're still in control...but you've allowed others to make the moves for you. So this person needs to take that control back.
Tarring every employer with the same brush after one bad experience is kind of silly, don't you agree? It is true that if this person enters employment with their current attitude, they're very likely to produce the same results as they've gotten before. But the employer wasn't necessarily the same...the employee was. Leading us back to the reminder that YOU are in control.
What does this person want? If it's just to sit there, collecting a check and not having to do anything, then there's no suggestion I have that will help.
If this person wants to get EXCITED ABOUT LIFE again, then I do have some suggestions.
Some people are simply not good employees. Nothing wrong with that...but you must acknowledge it if so and change things. One multi-millionaire business owner I know has repeatedly shared how he sucked as an employee...was lazy, unmotivated...but as an owner he shines and is more productive than most of the people I know.
Our individual may not want to be a business owner. That's OK, too. It's possible to create your own job. Did you know that? I've done it several times, with companies that "were not hiring"...they didn't have a Want Ad out there. I went in and created the job, told them what I wanted to do and they agreed and hired me to do that.
Here's a 'secret' video of me talking about this process in a radio interview...it's secret because I shared too much so I rarely post the link:
I also have a Kindle ebook on the topic. If you want this book, I'll give it to you for free... just message me here and I'll shoot you a link.
The key is starting to BELIEVE you have power over your world. Sitting there as a victim is going to get you nothing good. The world is far more malleable than this person thinks...many things we think are "facts" are actually just "opinions."
You *can* go create your perfect job. Make a list of things you like to talk about all day. That's a great start. You'll automatically be enthusiastic when discussing those topics. Build your desired role around one of those.
See, most people are sitting around waiting for someone else to make their life worthwhile. "You post the Want Ad for the job and I'll respond." "You hire me." "You tell me what to do." Success and satisfaction don't come from that kind of attitude: you have to decide on your own what's important to you!
$15K is not a lot of money and under the right (self-created) circumstances you could eliminate that debt in a short time--a few months at the most. And I mean starting from zero. It's not magic. But is this person looking at the math of their life? So many people are scared of math...yet one of the commonalities of successful people is that they look at finances and understand numbers.
What's the plan? How does this person intend to pay that debt off, create the life they want, and even retire by a certain age? Isn't *that* exciting? How much money do you need to make to have an investment fund that pays out enough interest every month to pay all your bills? If your mind slides off this question like wet glass, you have some work to do on your own thinking.
"There's no limit a man will go to avoid thinking" is pretty close to a quote uttered by someone famous (I had a Henry Ford one, but I like my version better). You have to get over that hump if you want to do better in life.
It's easy to wallow in the pit. It's easy to blame other people and circumstances. But the fact is YOU create everything you experience. You chose where to live...and from that, who you encounter every day. What stores and restaurants you see. You chose what you do for a living. And therefore what you believe is "expensive" and even seemingly out of your reach. You chose what to believe about your life, what's possible, what you can do.
And you can change it in a moment to something else that's more empowering and exciting.
This person needs to get started. It doesn't matter how long the journey takes. It doesn't matter how many changes in direction, short-term "failures", or even what the end result is. They need to begin. Build the vision. Do the math. Figure out *a* plan to get there--which can change as experience shows.
And then get started...focusing on the next step. Not always looking at the long view, and complaining to oneself about how slow things are or that it's never going to happen.
When I was 25, 17 years ago now and before the internet had really taken off, I used paper documents to create and sell the custom role I wanted with a specific company to become a production manager in their factory. I accomplished this in four days. Four days! It wasn't magic. It wasn't expensive (say $15-20 to create the booklet). And it wasn't time-consuming.
But most people won't even commit two days to an idea. Most business ideas fail within three days...just three days of sustained effort is more than people can stand! Can you do better than them? Of course you can. Get a big WHY. Get enthusiastic. Get a plan. Execute.
The challenging part is the imagination. Believing it can be done. I'm telling you it can be done because I've done it several times, and helped many people over the past two decades create their dream role, too.
Remember, in closing, what the herd is doing is probably the opposite of what you should do. How they're thinking is probably the opposite of the way you should be thinking. Think and act like them, and you'll get their results.
Find ways to monetize your talents passively such as e-courses, Kindle books, etc. Build up something that you own while you drive and write to pay your bills-- whether it's practical like an e-course, or a creative IP like a game, novel, or totally new form of media that can grow a fanbase.
As someone who does a lot of writing for hire, I'd like to point out that there are TONS of writing opportunities out there- more than you can imagine. There's some great content writing platforms out there which can be better than working with private clients in many cases. (Just please, please tell me you're not spending time looking up writing jobs in the cesspool that rhymes with Dup Jerk...)
My writing income any given month is about $2-3K on the low end but if you get larger projects and negotiate your worth, that can easily become $4-5K or far, far more depending on what your skills are and where you look. Technical writers can earn well into six figures.
Diversify into other areas where you can charge a lot more for less time, like consulting and strategy.
My line's open if you need help figuring out how to get paid more as a writer. I was in a similar place as you at one time: I busted my ass with rhymes-with-ghost-hates until I could get my second biz off the ground. Now making a very comfortable living as a hustler with both active and passive income!