Thursday, January 15, 2009

OK, I am officially swamped

The plus marks (and the peril) of the freelance life is that it is always feast or famine.  Right now it is feast, but I am overwhelmed and coming up for air to say: I am overwhelmed. I can't even get up for lunch but have to nibble at my desk!

 I want/need to hunker down and do my novel and my script, but I have book columns and reviews and manuscript consulting and my class and editing (all jobs I love) and right now, in this economy, I am so very grateful for it all.  I'll carve out time for my writing, I will, I will!  Most of all, I'm grateful I don't have to go work in a corporate office anymore and try to find something coherent to wear and not have to feel like an outcast.

So how do others who freelance/write handle this?  It is the never-ending question for me, and for many of my friends.  The deadline panic, though, is not pretty.


Jeff Lyons said...


Isn't it a wierd thing... we love being freelance and we hate being swamped with other people's work that keeps us from our own! I'm in the same boat as you. Lots of deadlines looming on book evaluations, cover copy, story notes--most of it mind numbing sameness with material that all blurs together in one big bad manuscript from Hell. And I'm more grateful for it than I can tell you! At least I don't have to go into an office and bullshit my way through a day doing something totally unrelated to what my life is really about... namely writing. Truth be told... if this is all it every becomes I'm one damned lucky guy! I love you bad writers of the world! And I curse you. But I love you more than curse you.

J. :)

Caroline said...

Jeff, I am so with you. My eyes hurt, my neck hurts, my brain hurts, but every time I even THINK of complaining, I remember my stupid corporate job and being hauled into my boss's office after I got a NYT review and told, "Do not tell anyone you are a novelist because we know you are thinking about your novels rather than about selling videos, and therefore, every mistake that happens will be your fault. Oh, and that's why we're not promoting you."

I remember the secretary who called me "She Who Rolls her Eyes" and never told me about meetings and HIT my assistant! And when I complained to HR, they told me, to never mind, the secretary was older and would sue them for ageism if they did anything.

And I remember my evaluations which said I mentioned I as a novelist even when they had told me not to, I never went out after work with marketing the way they told me, too, and my desk was much too messy.

I would much rather be working 12 our days at home than 5 hour days at a corporate office! And it's lucky to have work and money pouring in right now. I keep telling myself that, like a mantra, because when those wells go dry, then I panic about money.

Clea Simon said...

Your last graph says it all - we'd rather be working crazy hours on our own than in a corporate cubicle. Hang in! You'll get your life back. And then you will be free to work on your own writing, without stupid bureaucratic interruptions!