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Monday, March 09, 2015

Crunch Time

It's 47 degrees outside and there's just a few patches of snow left on the grass. I only needed a light sweatshirt to go outside. Spring is here. Which only means that I'm itching to move on, but with no realistic plan in place, I'm not quite ready. I'm getting down to the wire with my whole day job situation. I have to get a job this week or I'm going to be playing catch up for years instead of months. So, I have all of three days to find an amazing job or I'll have to start practicing my "May I take your order?" speech. I don't think the situation is that dire yet, but it's getting close. And if I wait too much longer, all the high school kiddies will be taking what's left of the open jobs in this town. I just have to remember that it's only to get the money to move, then I can go get a job where I want and in what industry I want. Learn from me--this is what an English degree gets you, Kids. Plan accordingly.

If I could psychoanalyze myself for a second, I know what the issue is. Everyone around me tells me to remember that taking any position for money right now can be temporary. However, it's kind of hard to believe them when they are the same people who started their temporary jobs and stayed fifteen years. Psychoanalysis done. 

This wouldn't be my situation if everyone would just pay writers more across the board. I've made a decent living from writing in the past--just four years ago I was able to afford a two bedroom apartment, a car payment and I had a cable package with HBO, no problem. That's sooo not the case anymore.

Today's demands on the freelance writer are actually kind of ridiculous. More and more clients are looking to get 90 hours of work for less than minimum wage, plus free revisions when they decide to change their mind about the whole direction of the project last minute. I have refused to take these paltry wages for awhile now, and my bank account is feeling it. The upside is that I don't feel like a starved dog chained to my computer.

I always like to see writers paid what they're worth but haven't spoken out much about it before, aside from my own personal issues with it. But a Freelancer's Union article I read this weekend sparked the fire in me again. Although I must admit in the first line where it says "Yes, I am looking at you, $10/hour Craigslist offering" my first reaction was "Ten bucks an hour? Where can I find that sweet writing gig?" Yeah. I think that about says it all.

No matter how much I dwell over the problems of the day, it still doesn't bring my creativity down. Out of nowhere I wrote a poem today, and I'm kind of in love with it. It needs a lot of tweaks, but that's why I do this. For that sudden burst of energy where if I don't write it down I'm afraid it will slip away forever. Forget fast cars and jumping out of planes--that burst is the adrenaline rush for writers. It is exactly what keeps me going when I want to do nothing but run away from writing.


As of right now, I don't know if I'll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April. It will all depend on the hours of my new job and whether sustainable writing work comes my way again. We'll see how all this life fluctuation turns out. I'm slightly hopeful for a positive outcome.

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