Now that I’ve committed to making a career of freelancing, I feel like I should write more here. Blogging is the gateway drug of freelance writing, after all, and I don’t think potential employers will jump all over me if my portfolio consists of random blurbs. For instance, my eyelash stubble worries are never going to get me hired by The New Yorker.On the other hand, I don’t have a lot to say — aside from, “The computer will be here soon!” I’ve been saying that about every half hour since, oh, Saturday. (Note: tomorrow is the first day it could possibly arrive, and it may not get here until Friday.) Once it gets here, I have big plans. Big, big plans. Plans that involve three months’ worth of backlogged issues of the New York Times, twelve straight hours on LiveJournal, and learning how WordPress works so that I can finally have a real site.
(Remember bitterdiatribe? Remember how was all awesome and gave me a cool domain and then I put up a sarcastic splash page and let the site languish for about fifty eons? Yeah. That’s the way to establish an internet presence!)
I think this whole I-must-post thing is about being afraid. Freelancing? It’s not the best gig in the world. Setting your own hours and working at something you really love are great perks, but the work is very ebb-and-flow (mostly ebb) and the pay is… how should I say it? Usually effing terrible. It takes a long time and a level of determination that’s very, very hard to maintain in order to get anywhere by freelancing — especially if you want to write instead of, say, run network troubleshooting or design splashy Flash pages for large corporations.
I know people who do this writing thing every day. They busted their asses, built audiences, built client bases, and they’re successful. Not millionaire successful, but you know, the bills get paid and they can sleep in when they need to. That’s what I want to do. That’s what I’m terrified of doing, because I’m already poor and overextended — it’s not like I have a lot of resources (or support, but I’ll get to that in a minute) to see me through dry spells.
It doesn’t help that nobody, absolutely nobody in my little circle (husband, friends, family) considers writing a “real job.” I was over the moon a few days ago because I was offered a job editing a beauty column I’ve been reading for over a year, and Michael — oh, let’s be blunt — totally pissed on my parade. His exact words were, “Uh huh, that’s cool, but are you ever going to get a job that pays?” When I was writing for Parenting Toddlers, he flat refused to do anything that would make it easier for me to get the job done — like watching Connor for an hour or throwing some towels in the wash — because it just wasn’t important to him. This is sort of the reigning mindset in these parts.
I want to do this. I’ve wanted to do this since I was, oh, maybe three. I’ve paid my dues in crappy bar or fast-food jobs, I’ve hustled as hard as I could to get an education. Now I want the life, you know? I want to do what I love, and I want to make a career out of it. It’s just scary right now. Hell, I won’t even have the tool I need for another few days, much less any jobs that pay well enough to make this “real.”
Anyway… I don’t really have a point. I’m scared and annoyed and kind of excited. I hope things improve once (say it with me) the new computer gets here. Once I apply any and everywhere I can. Maybe I need a sandwich board: Will Write for Money and/or Prestige.