by Terreece Clarke
A freelancer’s day is a varied as the writer, but there are some we all have in common. Whether it’s waiting on a check, a love of coffee or an obsession with checking email or Tweets, no one understands like your fellow writers. So take a break and enjoy!
6:00 am: Stumble out bed and wander to desk. Open one eye long enough to check editorial calendar for the day – it’s full. Realize it’s a caffeine day. Head to kitchen.
6:15 am: After falling asleep in the bathroom, finally make it to the kitchen. Worship at the alter of the caffeine gods and scurry to the office before anyone in the house decides they want strike up a conversation.
6:23 am: Get caught sneaking to the office. Maybe if you stand still they won’t see you.
6:24 am: No such luck. Not only are they speaking they are asking questions. Apply “grunt and walk away” technique.
6:25 am: Safe in the office and both eyes open, check email account – 112 emails. Damn. Perk up when you realize 93 of those are for “Awesome Penis” products.
7:45 am: Begin working on first project of the day. It’s wonderful! It’s spectacular! And then you’re stuck. It needs something. You can’t decide what. You take a break and go Twitter or IM people who also should be working. Check email.
8:50 am: 20 Tweets and 4 Weird news stories later you check the job boards. FWJ, Craigslist, good haul this morning. Spend the next hour applying.
9:50 am: Back to the project. Finish it up and submit draft. Pat self on back. Play triumphant music on iTunes to celebrate. IM and Tweet updates.
10:30 am: Check email. Score! Favorite editor loved your piece. Throw yourself into next item on calendar.
1:30 pm: Realize coffee is not a meal. Venture out into the wild for nourishment. While eating lunch get unexpected visit from neighbor/family member/friend who doesn’t believe you have a real job. Realize you’re holding a Dagwood Bumstead sandwich and wearing an old high school t-shirt and what use to be really nice pants. Endure smirking intruder, turn down opportunity to hear about chapter 12 of their marital/work/child soap opera. Cite big name client. Watch smirk falter.
1:45 pm: Check email. Bust. Client #3 drops you like a hot potato. Budget cuts, shift in focus, site going under in 30 days. Yada, yada, yada. Sulk for a second or 10. Second bust – gig you applied to is for article “rewriting.” Feel ashamed for applying to a gig! With! So! Many! Exclamation points! In! It!
2:00 pm: Telephone conference with Client #6. Try to convince client nothing is “very unique.” Advise client that while you enjoy a good word joke, spelling their entire brochure phonetically isn’t a good gimmick.
2:45 pm: Deny sister’s request that you pick up her dry cleaning and dog from the kennel since “You know, you’re at home.”
3:00 pm: Stalk mailman. Stand in doorway as he creeps closer and closer to your house. Wipe drool from mouth. Try not to stare at the envelopes he carries. Remember to smile as he backs away cautiously. Close the door before you yell, “Whoo hoo! A check!”
3:30 pm: Realize there are several small visitors and a person of the opposite sex coming in the door. They introduce themselves as your family. Nod as you try to place the faces.
8:30 pm: Family time over, drag carcass to office and check email. Score! A possible client just became a paying client. Quickly print out contract and try not to sound too eager in crafting your acceptance email. Work to finish last to do items for the day.
11:00 pm: Meet up with that “spouse” person again and discuss next day’s events. Realize the plan is to lounge by the pool the first half of the morning, have a working lunch on the client’s dime and interview a local notable before knocking off at 3. Realize how much you love your job.
2:00 am: Wake up in panic because of a bad dream in which you were chained to a dial up PC with Windows 98 rewriting 500 articles for $10/set. Realize all is well. Pass back out.
What do you most identify with? Are you an hourly email checker? Do you scare the mailman?