Being a Freelancer

This is a blatant excuse for not writing regular blog posts.  Really. Consider it your summer hole, or your summer hiatus. TV shows are in reruns why shouldn’t this blog be?  I’m actually not in the summer hole as in “at the beach”, but as in hard drive has reached maximum operational capacity (90%) and will remain there until end of July thanks to work. In the mean time I will re-gurgitate some of my favorite and still relevant posts from yesteryear – you won’t even notice.  If you do notice however, you really should give me a shout, I’d love to chat.

If you’re not a freelancer, independent contractor or a small business owner (and I fill all three categories, sometimes simultaneously), it goes something like this: you have a gig and you are super relieved that you’re (still) working, or working again, or still have the touch to be called for any work at all.

About two days into the new job it dawns on you what you got yourself into and you look at the budget and re-assure yourself that the gig is well worth the money and will be over soon enough and there’s always that learning element and the ‘thing’ that you can add to your resume you were missing and you’re working with people you like. Then you proceed to cancel your personal live – from dental hygienist appointment that you had to make months in advance, to the super expensive opera tickets, to dinner with a friend you haven’t seen in ages and happens to be in town. You leave the option open for the get-away weekend that’s halfway through the job.

At first you forward, day by day your to-do list that’s not job related, until you realize that all but the most urgent task best are put with a due date TWO days after the job ends. Some tasks you might realize where not all that crucial anyway and you might just ditch them.  You call your on-again, off-again housekeeper and beg her for a regular spot, at least for the time being.  Then, if you’re me, and before the job gets to REALLY crazy you stock up on everything in the house. Because you do not want to run out of toilet paper when you leave the house at 7 AM and get home at midnight.  Actually, I’m more concerned about essentials like espresso and wine…

Then you look at the budget again and remind yourself that, yes you are getting a very nice day-rate.  Then you dive into the job, into a parallel universe – talk about immersive experiences – and you realize that yes, you’re doing the work you were meant to be doing, but – to quote my neighbor Brian: I love my job I just wish there was less of it.  But let’s face it, the intensity is part of what makes it so cool.  Then you cancel the get-away weekend that’s half way through the job.

The first day off the job you are in a daze and you feel a bit hung-over. Instead of sleeping in, you’re up at the crack of dawn with nothing to do – THE worst.  It’s like a breakup. You’re glad it’s over but you still loved being in it.  The to-do list is thankfully going to hit you between the eyes on day two of your regained freedom.

If you have (paying) work lined up you’ll have a lovely time with naps and seeing friends and getting mundane things done and catching up on personal accounting and stress-less stuff.  If you’re me, you have tons of creative and pro-bono project waiting to be moved forward that now are begging for your attention – they’re actually sitting in the corner looking at you with scornful eyes and feeling very neglected.  Somehow you muster the energy to tackle them again, knowing there will be work down the road.

If you do not have a next (paying) job lined up you go through rapidly escalating, emotional phases that start with a state of moderate worry (I just finished a good job, bills are covered for some time to come), to moderate to severe worry (will I ever work again?), to acute worry (OMG, I KNEW I should have become a bank teller) to all-out freak out (Airbnb, selling the artwork or the house?). If this sounds familiar: welcome to the club.

If you have NO CLUE what I’m talking about: hold on to your paycheck and your 401K, paid sick and vacation days, bonuses and transit-check – because I have NO CLUE what you’re talking about.

This is all to say – I’m too busy to be held to a regular blog schedule. Not because I can’t keep a schedule but because my HD is close to 90% full.  New chip please!