Friday, January 23, 2015

Scenes from My Freelance Life

When I started freelancing full time, I had grand plans to document the whole process, including my income, because there's nothing I like more than over-sharing. But then I realized how much ghost-writing I was doing, which I can't exactly share. And money is strange and complicated and different for everyone, and my rates seem like an Ace best kept in the hole. 

I am, however, freelancing full time, paying my rent every month, and not starving, which sort of makes me feel like a rock star. (I'm also not paying off my debts in any noticeable way, but that piece will fall into place one day. I hope.) And I have to say: this is the best job I've ever had. I work a lot, but my hours are flexible, I'm almost always wearing slippers, and I can take breaks whenever I want to walk the dogs, make a snack, or go to yoga. The dream, my friends: I am living it. 

To show you just how dreamy things are, here are a  few scenes from my life as a freelance writer, editor, and teacher. 

My Giant Dry Erase Board

This was pretty much the only thing I wanted for Christmas, and Santa delivered. Because I have multiple clients with rotating deadlines, being able to see everything in one place has been a game changer. I list all my projects, put a line through them when they're in progress, and then erase them completely once they're submitted. It is seriously the greatest thing ever. 

My First Cover Story 

I started cold-calling the editors of all the local area magazines over the summer, and it's finally starting to pay off! I recently wrote a profile of a local business woman for one magazine, and scored my first cover story with another - see photo above! The print magazines pay slightly better than the online writing I've been doing, and I like that they're focused on local stuff, so I get to interview people in person, see free theater, and stay involved with Wilmington community. 

Divide and Conquer 

Photo Credit (and first Google image result for "empire.")

Remember that beer and wine tech startup I was blogging for? The app is doing well, but they're cutting the blog (for now? forever? who knows!) which was sad for two reasons. The first was that I enjoyed writing that blog, as it was fun and easy and all about booze. The second was that the gig provided roughly half my monthly income, so losing it was a substantial hit. I'm bouncing back already, but it was a good reminder to diversify. A proper freelance empire can't lean too heavily on one client, no matter how tempting that may be/how much free wine they give you. 

Freelance Teacher 

I started teaching again last week! Just like last semester, I'm teaching one section of First Year Seminar, AKA Welcome to College, AKA How to be a Person. The class is required for all students in their first semester at the university, which means nobody actually wants to be there. I, however, really enjoy teaching it and plan to win most of them over. (My evals from last semester were unanimous in that all my students loved me despite the fact that I was teaching a "boring, pointless, useless class," which I consider a major success.) Also, while I love working from home, it is good to go out into the world twice a week, to put on pants, and to interact with other humans. I am learning how to be a person, too. 

The Best Office Ever 

One of the greatest things about our new-to-us house is that I have my very own office. This makes working from home feasible, and - despite the very causal dress code - helps me feel like I am actually Going To Work. Speaking of which, it's Friday and I have miles to go before the weekend. Better get started!