Days Like These…

Okay, so it’s been way too long between my first post and this one. I’m solely responsible for that, but there’s a good reason for it, which I’ll get to in just a second. Even so, if I’m serious about this blog (and I am), then it’s clear that I need to improve my posting habits.

The reason for the long pause between posts is pretty simple, and is the topic of today’s post. Here’s something you may not have known about the freelance lifestyle: It can be feast or famine sometimes. Sometimes, there’s barely enough work to fill up a day, and then, from out of nowhere, it seems like every client you’ve ever worked with has an urgent need for content that must be done RIGHT THIS SECOND!

I’ve just come through something like that. A friend and fellow writer of mine got a big contract to write reviews for 242 HVAC companies, nationwide. His client wanted all of the reviews done before Thanksgiving, and he was utterly overwhelmed, so he sent up a flare for help, and since things were slowish, I was happy to jump in.

Of course, the moment I did so, several of my other clients contacted me, all eager to have a heaping helping of fresh content up for the day after Thanksgiving. End result? About two weeks of nonstop writing. I literally wrote the equivalent of a full-length novel in about two weeks. I would only take breaks to pee and sometimes eat. I only slept when it felt as though my eyes were going to start bleeding, and then, only long enough to take the edge off.

The good news though, is that it created quite a financial windfall, and if you’re a freelancer, those are important, because you’ll inevitably see lean times. Writing is a cyclical business. There’s demand for content all through the year of course, but you’ll definitely notice that some times are busier than others.

Anyway, I’ll take up the rest of this post describing what I “did” with the windfall I found myself in possession of.

If you read my earlier post, then you know I worked at an animal sanctuary when I was first starting out with the whole writing thing. When I moved here, to rural Virginia, from Georgetown, SC, I brought three feral cats with me, and we all moved into a cozy little farmhouse on top of a mountain.

One of the three ferals, Patches, is blind.

Recently, I found a specialist who thought she could help, so last Friday, Patches and I made a two hour trip down the mountain and to the vet. Being a freelancer, I rented a cheap hotel with WiFi access and spent the day working, while Patch had her surgery.

We returned home Friday evening, and for the first time in her little, four-legged life, my baby girl could SEE!

She spent about an hour being groggy from anesthesia. Another hour ripping the “cone of shame” to shreds so she could eat something (I timed it – it survived for all of one hour and six minutes), then spent the next two hours running all over the house, exploring it for the first time with her eyes.

Every few minutes she would run up to me, stand on her hind legs, tap my leg and chirp as if to say “Dad! Dad come LOOK at this – you’ve gotta see!” Then would scamper off to do some more exploring. It was pure magic, watching her world expand like that. Worth every penny.

So…that’s another little taste of the freelance life and what it can be like sometimes. Next time, two things will be true: 1) it won’t be as long between posts, and 2) I’ll get into more of the juicy particulars that a newbie will be interested in.


One comment

  1. Hmmm, something is missing from this post. Oh yes, the not-so-glamerous details.

    While the Hungry Author was slaving away, I was taking a two week sebatical from the weekend drive to the mountain.

    No worries. I left the freezer stocked with yummy goodness guaranteed to fuel the brain of the Hungry Author with nothing more than a few minutes in the microwave.

    During the two week writing extravaganza, I was privy to conversations made of nonsensical slurred wordage and long stretches of silence.

    What did I find when I returned to the Hungry Author’s lair? A pile of crusty dishes and a putrid puddle of unknown origin in the microwave! Eeek! (Insert promise to never do that again.)

    I, for one, am glad that two weeks is behind us, but I’m realistic enough to know it may not be the last time. At least I was assured that the Hungry Author had a freezer full of yummy goodness at the ready to stave off starvation.

    The lesson for all you would be freelancers? Yummy goodness is a must, spillage left in the microwave will smell at some point, and crusty dishes will require soaking.

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