Freelance writing isn’t the carefree lifestyle some think that it is. Some of my friends are under the impression that I can work when I want and for whom I want, but the truth is that I put in a lot of hours each week, 60 or more, to maintain what I do.
On occasion, I am able to take off during the week as I did last month to take my oldest son to the beach for the day, but I “paid for it” by working my tail off the weekends before and after our trip. The trip was worth it — a good father and son time — and an excellent way to conclude the school year.
With the first half of the year behind me, I’ve been taking stock of my work and trying to wrap my mind around what is coming down the pike over the next few months. No, I’m not laying out the remainder of the year, but the months of July, August and September are on my mind, including a conference I have later this month immediately followed by a family reunion out of state.
I have to figure out a way to get some extra writing and editing done before these two events come up — I’ll have little time to get on my laptop. Moreover, I don’t want to check e-mail or do any work while we’re on the road. Modern technology is great, but a constant tethering to the Internet isn’t conducive to relaxing.
Yesterday, I got the news that one of my clients was shutting down its online initiative effective immediately. The day before I submitted my last two articles for the month to this site, a weekly practice I had been keeping up since March when the project began.
Quite suddenly an announcement was made that the eight or so of us contributing to this site should stop our work with little more than that shared. This action was not expected, but it wasn’t too much of a surprise as the company had sold off a piece of itself earlier in the second quarter, thus some sort of further restructuring was likely. Easy come, easy go.
Following such news I always take stock of what remains. Thankfully, this client was a piece of a much larger puzzle, a good client to have, but by no means my main moneymaker. Still, the steady payments were nice and the exposure through this website with byline included was helpful.
At this point I usually put out feelers for new work, but given that we’re at the start of a long Independence Day weekend, the chances that I’ll be able to make contact with anyone are slim. That’s okay, because I’d prefer to wind down my work for the week instead of having to negotiate with a client and put together a contract that won’t arrive at his or her house until Tuesday anyway.
Instead, I’ll be heading over to the farmer’s market early Saturday morning, picking up some nice, sweet North Carolina corn and ruby red tomatoes in preparation for our cookout on Monday. Yes, I’ll be getting a box of fireworks too, setting those off after 9 p.m., thankful that here in America we can still choose how we work, where we live and understand why liberty must always be preserved.