This Is Where I Belong

The life of a freelance writer is one that, the more I live it, I suspect I’m not really cut out for; the constant waiting to find out if projects are accepted/rejected/alive/suddenlydeadwithnoexplanation/andsoonandsoon, the rejections (Whatever ego I had dried up somewhere a couple weeks ago, I suspect) and the bizarre thrill from emails that are, essentially, “You made it to the second round, but it’s just going to get harder from here on!” just because, hey, it’s not a no, right…?

I write all of that with something resembling tongue in cheek – My ego is alive, just a little tender, and I know just how impatient I am when it comes to waiting for people to just write back and say “Your idea is awesome and we want to give you $$$,” thank you very much – but it’s struck me, over the last couple of months, how different my current incarnation of freelance writerdom is from the last few years of my life, where I was essentially on staff for a couple of websites and had something along the lines of a guaranteed income every month. That’s definitely an easier life, and a less stressful one from the “Not wondering where the money is coming from” point of view, but it’s also one that messes with your attention span and sense of time: A week suddenly becomes a really long time, and everything gets blown out of proportion in the rush to be first and have a constantly updating stream of content; you run the risk of losing all sense of perspective about what’s genuinely important and what’s just noise that people will click on. As much as I have been quietly freaking out/getting depressed about my future, there’s something to be said for stepping back and smelling the metaphorical coffee every now and again.