Friday, September 02, 2011

Quarterly report

Well, it's been three months since the Morning of the Long Knives. How's the freelancing going?

It ... goes. I think.

To recap: summoned to a meeting early at work, told the department was being restructured, warned I was at risk of redundancy, sent home for a week (which turned into three weeks) to think things over. On the understanding that I would be retained to work for the old place for 5 days a month, I took the redundancy and became a freelance technical writer.

Later on the same day as the Morning, I went into London to meet some nice people who wanted me to do 36,000 words of ghost-writing. That was fun, and lucrative, and it kept my mind off worrying what to do next. Sadly that's now over.

In the meantime I was signing up with various agencies who handle people like me. They were all saying essentially "work's always thin on the ground at this time of year but it picks up in September". It's now September so I'll be holding them to that.

And meantime - oh, dear - meantime I signed up to websites like freelancer.co.uk and ifreelance.com. I helpfully get sent daily lists of jobs being offered that I am invite to bid on. At first this was almost suicidally depressing; now I just keep getting the alerts as incentive - a dreadful insight into what could be.

Example, in today's post:

"I will need 500 articles of 100 word length as soon as possible ... All writers will be given a list of keywords to write at. You MUST be able to do at least 20-30 short articles a day ... My budget is $30 for each set of 100 short articles (100 Words Each)."

So, $30 for 10,000 words.

The only thing more depressing than the tenders is that there are people who still make bids, with persuasive notes such as:

"Respected Sir, I want to establish long term business relations with you because I can do your project and it will help us to develop healthy business relations.Sir, I will provide you high quality work under dead line."

On the bright side, the 5 days a month at the old place pays the mortgage and fuel bills, so at least I can starve in the warm and dry.

To be blunt, I miss working in a team that I got on with doing work that I valued. I miss my friends and I would much rather have a full time job. However I don't want one so badly that I'll just take anything, and I don't want to have to take a step back: hence, no real desire to return to journal publishing, for instance. I'm a realist and I know that beggars can't be choosers - but I'm not yet a beggar, and shouldn't be for some time to come.

And now, if you'll excuse me, it's September and I have stuff to do ...

6 comments:

  1. I'll add my luck to the pile above.

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  2. Thank you both.

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  3. Good luck. Always enjoy reading the blog. I wish I could write like you.

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  4. Anonymous11:26 am

    You are missed. Three months later and it still doesn't make much sense.
    Good luck. T

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  5. Robert Easthope1:16 pm

    Hope things work out for you, must have been quite a shock. Shame on the company for treating you like that..

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