Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where Most Folks Lose It As a Freelancer

In most cases, when you work at a salaried office job, you get sick leave. If you've been worshipping the procelain god all night, or get a call from school that your kid is, you can curl up at home, take care of things, heal yourself, and not have to worry about money.

Then there's the rest of us.

With hourly-wage folks, there's a monkey on your back called your boss. You know he or she will fire you if you don't come in to work. You need this job to survive, and you force yourself out of bed, swallow some aspirin, and head to the store or factory.

Even if you're a traditionally published writer, there's a contract that gives you a deadline and a publisher that you're accountable to. Penguin has shown that they will no longer put up with writers who don't deliver their manuscripts. So the fear kicks in and you type.

But for those of us who freelance or own our businesses, the only person we're accountable to is ourselves. And I can tell you right now, this is where most indie writers will lose their battle.

It's easy, so very easy, when your nose is dripping, your head is pounding and your throat feels like you've swallowed broken glass to crawl back in bed and say, "Fuck this shit."

It's easy to do it the next day too because you still can't breathe. Then something happens with the kid or the spouse or the dog, and you tell youself, "I'll catch up tomorrow." And the next thing you know, the entire month is gone and you haven't written a damn word. You tell yourself, "It doesn't matter. My first book wasn't selling that great anyway."

You've quit.

Except I can't. Right now, I am selling books. If I don't write more, I have no new stories to sell. If I have no new stories to sell, people can't buy them. If people can't buy them, I make no money for the Ricola cough drops sitting next to me right now, much less groceries, electricity, etc.

On top of me sounding like the entire seal chorus at Sea World, GK had to have oral surgery for an impacted wisdom tooth yesterday. So I'm here in the kitchen, trying not to sneeze in GK's cherry Jell-O I'm making and finish up Seasons of Magick: Winter because I have a business, I have self-imposed deadlines, and I have readers I am NOT disappointing.

[Author's Note: Any typos in this post I thoroughly blame on the manufacturers of the drugs I am currently taking. Except for the folks at Ricola. Gotta love Swiss cough drops!]


  1. I work a 7:30-5:00 job four days a week and a 7:30-11:30 job one day a week. Yes it's the same job but the state thinks it's saving money somehow this way. Anywhooo, I totally can understand what you're saying even though I'm not fully dependent from the money I scrape in from writing. It is easy to put writing to the side when you work from home. I respect those who can make a living at it that way. It takes great discipline and wonderful medication when you're sick to keep chugging along. Hope you feel better soon.

  2. Thanks, Savannah. I'm laid out on the couch working on edits right now, but the dog keeps coming over and checking on me.

  3. Hope you feel better soon.

    Yes, life, sickness, and family all have a tendency to rule our lives at times. Take it easy and try to relax!

    I think your readers want your best book!!! Sometimes that takes time.