The Realities of Freelancing

I’ve previously discussed how hard it can be for a freelancer to find immediate and future work. You work at the whims of others and hope you can assemble enough work so you’re constantly busy and there’s enough income on a regular basis that you can make a living at this.

The risk comes with an ever-changing environment so even when you think you’re safe and stable, things can fall apart with a phone call.  I entered 2010 thinking I had half a month of work locked up and some projects to keep me busy well into the first third of the year, plenty of time to pitch to fill the coming gaps.

Instead, the management changes at DC have led fresh eyes to examine the Who’s Who project and until all the voices have been heard, I’ve stopped writing. It’s still coming out this year and I’m still writing it all, but some of the line-up will be altered and that’s an ongoing discussion. Trust me, it’ll be worth waiting for and is already taking excellent shape based on the designs and artwork I’ve seen to date.

Meantime, an artist retrospective I had begun working on for Dynamic Forces hit a snag as the artist has taken longer than expected to review, edit, and approve the interview transcript. So I wait.

My ghost writing project has a revision deadline of April 16 but I’ve received no feedback from the publisher or the subject and this may also be delayed.

This essentially leaves me entering April with no paying work on my desk. The one thing I can count on is receiving galleys for The Essential Superman Encyclopedia and the free time means it will get priority treatment but then again, I’ve also been paid for this assignment.

Since returning from Spain, I’ve been working on pitches for graphic novels and books but of course, those take time to be read and evaluated. A GN pitch I submitted months ago remains on an editor’s desk; “next to be read” I was told in February. Other spec projects which all looked promising to one degree or another have cooled off and continue to hang out in limbo.

Fortunately, one spec project will begin inching towards reality tomorrow, but we’ll talk about that then.

On the one hand, it’s kind of nifty to have time to indulge in personal projects and see where my mind takes me. Then the monthly bills arrive and the harsh reality of the freelancer’s life returns in force.

Still, I remain an optimist and can only hope that all of this is a temporary situation and that soon I will write a piece about what to do when your schedule is over-crowded.

One comment

  • I agree, I think optimism is the way to go. Although Robin hasn’t had any paying work in well over a year, we’re optimistic things will change. We know that friends like you will think of him if there’s any pencilling or inking work you need done, and that cheers us immensely.

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