Saturday, September 11, 2010

Born Free...Lance -The Thrill & the Peril

Lets take a little closer look at that word, comprised of two words. FREE : as defined in the dictionary as independent and unrestricted. LANCE: defined as a long spear, or to pierce with a lance.

For those of us who actually live the life of a freelancer, it certainly does (at times) seem like a poke in the eye (or elsewhere) with a sharp stick. It can be a very "feast or famine" affair and your work never ends even though you aren't always pulling a check from the intensive efforts required to keep the gears turning. But despite all the battle scars and tribulations, the FREE part still holds enough compelling appeal to keep us coming back for more. I think a lot of people who might enjoy the "romantic" notion of what a "freelancer" might be, would not fare so well when their lips get dry and full of the taste of dirt and blood from hitting the ground a few times. And that's why it takes a special breed to hang in there and roll with the punches. 

  Speaking of  "punches", I recently read another great article on freelancing by a very funny and talented freelance writer, Chuck Wendig, on his website 'Terrible Minds' entitled: 'Want to be a Freelancer? Just Punch Yourself in the Face, Instead'
In it he brings up one of the more unsung perils of freelancing: Most people who have never freelanced will probably never understand what exactly it is that you do, and you are going to have to be okay with that fact.
   Besides that, you will need to conceal that incredulous look that creeps onto your face when your friends and family start making embarrassingly retarded and backwards statements about your work, of which they clearly know nothing. Chuck's brilliant quote (from the article mentioned above) really captures the heart of the matter with grace and humor! 
   "Nobody seems to believe that freelancing is real. It’s as if you’re playing pretend. “That’s not a real job, is it?” “No, I just made it up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hang out with my pet dragon and have a tea party in Narnia." - (Chuck Wendig)
  There is plenty more that can be said on the subject of freelancing (I'll save that for another article) and I could go on and on with a list of stupid crap people have 'unwittingly' said surrounding  the subject, but I think I will leave that for you, dear readers. Any of you freelancers got any stories or examples of the stupid things people have said to you regarding your work? Add your comments here so we can all have a good cathartic laugh,...and then get back to work (or tea time in Narnia, if you prefer;)

Yes I know this isn't Narnia! 
But it's not freelancing either...or is it?


  1. I get this all the time...."what's your plan B?"

  2. That's the point in the conversation that you realize saying anything more would be like talking to a parking meter;) Thanks for playing good Sir Company of Creature:)


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