The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July = total bust

From a work perspective, I've been a bad boy this month. Last week was the only clear week I had in July. I should have been out there pounding the pavement, but instead I caught up on non-work stuff and took a lot of "mental health" days - probably more than I really needed. This week has been a total farking nightmare and I've had to learn all kind of new medical words. I actually had to turn down the only work I've gotten this month.

The next day I will have clear will be Tuesday, which is the last day of the month. My main client thinks she'll have work for me so maybe I can make a few dollars before the month is over.

Ooh, that was interesting. While I was typing this up, I got a call about a possible ghostwriting opportunity. He caught me off guard so I already can't remember who he was. He asked about rates and I stalled a little because I prefer bidding by project. He was insistent so I quoted him an hourly and a per word rate that may prove to be completely wrong once I find out more the work. Still, it's nice to see past efforts showing some results.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No rest for the weary

Freelancers learn very quickly that balancing personal and professional lives is very tricky.

Over the last three weeks, things have been quite...eventful for my niece, Maria, and therefore for me. There were good things like flying back home for a few days. There were bad things like medical tests and substantial therapeutic setbacks. There were other things like my sister getting her kitchen remodeled and the nanny dealing with her mother's brain cancer. It's been busy and stressful and I'm utterly exhausted.

We have a running gag that when I don't go along to one of Maria's doctor visits, it turns out to be bad news. Twice in recent weeks that has proven true.
I have more flexibility than other caregivers in her life so, of course, I'm always the one who's available when others aren't. However as a freelancer, I don't get paid vacation.

Here we are nearly halfway through the month and I haven't done a single minute of work. I might have next week open, but the week after that Maria goes into the hospital and the week after that I have a friend visiting. July is clearly going to be a total bust.

It's taking me ten times as long as usual to write this entry because I can't keep a coherent thought in my pretty little head.

I don't really have a point to this; I'm just ranting. Things have been hard enough recently and not making money makes it harder. I need to be out there chasing down projects but I just don't have the energy. Whine, whine, whine.

I did get one piece of good news today though. I'm trying to network with Maria's therapists and doctors. I finally got a chance to schmooze her speech therapist, who comes from United Cerebral Palsy. He is pretty sure they need someone to write grant proposals, newsletters, etc. so he took two of my business cards to pass on to people there. That's certainly not a guarantee of work, but it seems like a decent future prospect.