Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The adventure continues

This is it. The end of my writer’s block. Oh, I’ve been writing for the past two weeks, but none of it ended up here, on this blog.
But it’s been a tumultuous two weeks, and each time I sat down in front of my computer to write about it, I drew a blank.
How does a writer write when she’s dealing with a seemingly never-ending stream of e-mails and letters informing her that her services are no longer needed?
It’s kind of strange – you would think that if I had more time to devote to the blog and I needed less time for work that pays me, I could sit all day, expounding on all sorts of topics in elaborate detail.
But it doesn’t work that way. With each announcement, accompanied by predictable explanations that include the words “monetary concerns,” “cutbacks,” and to put a little spin on it, “transformation,” and the usual platitudes like “I hope we can work together again some time,” and “we loved your work,” I got more frustrated.
More frustration? Less productivity.
Since I started working full-time as a freelance writer, life has been unpredictable but enjoyable. One job would end and another would begin. Several provided steady, reliable paychecks, something that’s really unusual in the freelance world. And I supplemented our income with strange little jobs – the kind I would have thought about in whimsical terms (“I could be a …”) but never pursued when I had a full-time job.
But about six months ago, everything started falling apart, and in the last month, my schedule really began to deteriorate. I started hearing from colleagues who were also supporting themselves freelancing, and their experiences were the same.
I shouldn’t be surprised – one of my long-term projects had to do with cars and newspapers (couldn’t see that coming!) Another one was a dream job with a promising future, but when the owners sold out, the giant conglomerate that took over obliterated the local content.
And so on and so forth.
I’ve gotten used to living month-to-month, not knowing what’s coming up. It’s an exciting life. Adventurous, even.  The dictionary defines “adventure” as “an undertaking involving danger and unknown risks.” Dangerous? I’m not sure of that. Risky? Perhaps. There are inherent risks in not having a reliable income.
But it is an adventure, nonetheless.
Right now, one of my friends is in the midst of a three-month adventure, traveling though China, Bali, Australia and New Zealand. I know another woman who is moving to Helsinki, Finland, because of her husband’s new State Department job.
I don’t have any travel or relocation plans in my future, but, like them, I have the thrill of not knowing what will come next. My life will continue to be an adventure

1 comment:

  1. Deb, you sure hit the nail on the head. I've been trying the freelancing thing since leaving the Gazette in Feb. Been a long road - adventure as you like to call it. Frustrating when the skill you've been honing your whole life seems less and less valuable on the open market. People like my wife who can navigate corporate America sometimes seem to fare better. But don't lose hope - you've got WAY too much talent for that. And one of those little possibilities you never thought of might lead to a new road of adventure. Good luck.Dennis Huspeni