For as long as I can remember, I have loved the written word. The ebb and flow of adjectives, metaphors and homilies has always lulled my soul into a mind numbing experience. A good writer can take you to lands never before imagined. Or, if at least imagined, creates a land that surpasses your expectations.
When I tell people I am a freelance writer, I often get a look that says, “Oh, so you don’t have a job”. All too often, they actually verbalize that sentiment! I hate to tell people, I put in more hours working than most do with a regular “office” job. Most days, I am on the computer by 7 am and it’s rare for me to get totally off much before 9pm. While I do try to give myself a break on weekends and holidays, its inevitable that at least one article or blog posting will spring forth from the keyboard. Is it a livable income? Well….not always. But, I have the luxury of working in my pajamas, being home to see my kids quibble over who has the most sprinkles on their cupcakes and play host to my grandmother, who needs to escape from her retired husband every now and then. It also allows me the freedom to truly be there for my friends when they need something – whether it’s a babysitter or just to look at my four walls rather than their own for a couple of hours. The single greatest joy for me, though, is being able to impart a fragment of myself to my readers.
I doubt I could ever be the quintessential Donna Reed Kind of Stay at home mom. Vacuuming in pearls is not going to happen any time in my house. I’m lucky if I have the 10 minutes to vacuum each day. Gourmet meals primarily consist of hastily put together foods in a last minute remembrance that I have to feed people. My bed rarely gets made, and laundry sits in two piles – clean and dirty. Perhaps if I were able to concentrate on only writing for pleasure, my housekeeping skills might improve slightly (no need for anyone to expect greatness, but maybe the laundry piles could be eliminated). I have a novel in progress that might be completed before my youngest graduates High School. He’s only one year old now, so there’s still time to hope. OF course, winning 메이저파워볼사 numbers would help, but that’s as realistic an expectation as me vacuuming in peals.
And the writing I most enjoy – editorial, opinion and humor, lends itself to venting my frustrations, joys and tribulations helps to release the fast paced thoughts out of my head and into something more tangible. The more factual news article type stories gives me a chance to be on the phone with professionals in various fields, nit picking and having an actual “Adult conversation”. Imagine the concept of speaking to someone who doesn’t view you as a personal slave, with the sole purpose of entertaining, feeding and cleaning up after you!
But, as always, with the good, comes the bad. Deadlines are a constant foe to me. And while I have never missed one, There’s been many a time when I’ve been up at 2 am trying to complete something due by 8. Distractions are another peril of the job. It’s all too easy to get drawn into something more “fun” or “interesting” or even just something “different”. On days when I don’t feel like writing (which honestly are few) even housework seems appealing. Minus the pearls. Health insurance is another concern of many of my compatriots. I am fortunate enough to have someone in my life paying for my insurance, but if I didn’t, I would be without and praying for good health.
Oftentimes, merely trying to THINK of something to write about can be a challenge. I depend on family and friends to email me story ideas and give suggestions. I try to keep a running list of story ideas, but sadly most I either lose interest in before I even start, or forget where I placed my list or have to start over. My bookmarks on my computer are a tangled mess of sites I keep remembering to look at. But above all, the worst thing for me, is finding steady work. Let me rephrase that – finding steady work that pays more than a few dollars. Fortunately there are a few good sites that compile requests from various editors and publications, and each morning is spent perusing them to see if there’s anything that might prove a viable lead.
But even with the all the pitfalls, I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. Being able to get my creativity and sometimes frustrations out, and actually being compensated for it, gives a feeling of satisfaction that brings an immeasurable amount of joy. And, seeing my byline is almost as fun as seeing the payment for the article itself.