Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Feast or Famine: Life as a 'Creative' is Both Glorious and Gut-Wrenching!

A few weeks ago I had clients in holding patterns, waiting to land as soon as I completed the project I was on. 

This week both of the clients who were scheduled to employ me have decided to wait until after the holidays have come and gone. ACK!  So here I sit, praying for some unexpected drop-ins: former clients, new clients, some editing work, anything! 

Moral of the story: get down payments or retainer fees up front so that when (not if) clients decide to delay, it doesn't throw you into "OMG!" Mode, wondering how you're going to make ends meet. "There goes my Christmas plans and packages. I'm dead in the water..." T'is NOT the season to be a pauper. I can handle it any other time of the year, off and on (it's a way of life for most Creatives) but this time of year it makes me come across looking like a penny-pinching Scrooge when I'm feeling more like Bob Crachit--or Tiny Tim!   Grrrr...

Not that I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs, mind you. When my schedule frees up unexpectedly, I start writing for myself, doing the marketing stuff that shows my wares and abilities on FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

I also write complimentary copy, during these droughts, for power networking partners who have sent work my way this year. I just finished writing 4000 words of copy for Internet Earle (who is creating a complimentary website for a friend of his) to thank him for the number of times he has sent clients my way and saved my bacon this year, and for Lisa Taylor, who offers two services that lots of people need: computer tutoring for seniors here in the Tacoma  area and other technophobes and custom WordPress sites. It makes me feel very, very good to be able to do this for them. Words are the only gifts I can afford to get them this year for Christmas, and it's a great gift--one that most people have to pay serious money to get.  Oh! And I bathed my sister's two dogs yesterday, too... in my spare time. So I'm not twiddling my thumbs, by any stretch of the imagination!

But of course none of the above pays the mortgage; it just keeps me from stressing too much over something I can't control while blessing people who have been such blessings to me.

I'm watching the websites that offer writing jobs (usually for peanuts) to see if I spot anything that will carry me through this dry spell that I can bid on. That takes a lot of time out of every day, including weekends.  I must spend 50-60 hours a week looking for writing work when I'm  not engaged in writing projects.  Very few people understand the enormous amount of time and attention it takes to make a living this way. But there's nothing else on earth I'd rather do than write, so here I am... writing for free when I can't write for pay!

Please keep me in your prayers for a sudden, surprising upswing in business--sooner rather than later. (Now would be a good time!) 

I appreciate it!

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