Monday, August 22, 2011

Writer For Hire

After what seemed like forever of standing in front of my dresser determining what outfit wouldn't be too unbearable to wear, it finally happened. Somehow, in the blink of an eye, summer decided it had had enough and when I woke up on Saturday to a 54 F degree sort of morning, I knew the time had come again for sweaters.

As pleased as I am at the weather's turn for the chillier, as much as I adore the faint nip in the air whispering of fall's impending arrival, fall means changes in more than just the weather around here. In less than two months I'll be wrapping up the day job for the season and returning to the lowly little desk where I sit right now to attempt to eke out a living with my fingertips and my brain. Oh geez.

While I'm thrilled to be nailing new freelance gigs every few months, the truth is even with the new gigs, my freelance earnings make up a mere fraction of what I need for winter wages. Which means I need more work. Which means I better get looking.

It also means I somehow need to transform this into a productive work place again.

Notice all the piles scattered on the desk and on the floor? That's how this summer's gone. When I've finished with something it just gets thrown into a pile to be dealt with at that magical time known as "later." As the summer's progressed, some of the piles have achieved "teetering" status. I work well in a general hodgepodge that only I can make sense of, but this is getting out of hand, even for me.

The mess of a desk I currently sit at is just the cherry on top of a hefty dose of confusion and frustration.  From my experience with queries it can take 9 months to a year to get an affirmative response. In truth, I should have started the whole "look for winter work" project last winter. Why did I wait so long to start putting serious thought into this? And since my winter writing partner from last year decided to move to India (!), it'll be a truly solo venture this winter.

Luckily, a good friend gave me the Rick Allen print below, called "The Trapper's Daughter Crosses the Lake", yesterday.


I propped the print up on my desk, within view when my laptop is open. When I look at the print I see a young woman doing what I want to do: heading across the lake, chin up and looking forward into the unknown. No floundering, no self-pity, just a bag packed with all the tools she might possibly need and a confident stance.

Maybe as I glide across this vast unknown on my trusty loons' backs, I'll do so with "writer for hire" printed in bold letters on my back.

6 comments:

  1. You are a brave woman and a wonderful writer. You will do MARVELOUSLY!

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  2. I so understand this. All summer long I've been relieved that i hadn't taken on more... and now... Now I'm a wee bit concerned.

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  3. My summer has been much like a long spring flowing into an early fall... we seem to have condensed our summer into 2 weeks of barely 70+ temps. Still, it was great while it lasted (it's raining today) but I admit most of the last couple of months have not been filled with writing. Perhaps the cooler weather will bring me back into a writers groove... one can only hope!

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  4. I'm glad you're seeing a change in weather already, I love fall! Good luck with the writing gigs : )

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  5. Hey- you'r e ahead of me, I don't even know how to go about finding any paying writing jobs. I hope you find some so that you can feel financially secure for the winter! I bought some fall clothes today and definitely am starting to feel the season shift...

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  6. I can imagine that it's rather difficult to make the ends meet freelancing, but hopefully you're making a bit of a stir and you will be able to make ends meet because people simply want YOU and not 'just anyone'.

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