A Step Forward, a Step Backward

A step forward, a step backward.

Today, I completed and delivered the manuscript to Cutting Edge Careers: Artificial Intelligence. My editor wrote back, “WOW. THIS LOOKS GREAT. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.” So, that pleases me. She also offered me another one of their database updates, this one on growing up in an inter-faith family. Since I know a little something about that, I accepted.

On the other hand, two publishing leads for freelance writing/editing that looked really hopeful in February finally got back to me in the space of 24 hours. One totally fizzled, one requires some more thought.

A step forward, a step backward.

A few job leads that looked promising also vanished in smoke this week. But, there were a bunch of new possibilities from my routine web search that I applied to.

A step forward, a step backward.

So, on the one hand, I feel like I’m treading water, getting nowhere with finding work. On the other, I continue to produce work and earn some money. I continue to be amazed by the sheer variety of work I have performed since January 7. Fiction, non-fiction; for print, for the web; for new companies, for the tried and true – a terrific mix and one I should never complain about.

Wish I just felt a little more settled but I’m also coming to realize it’s an adjustment. Last night Deb and I had dinner with my old college roommate. It is possible Deb and Michael haven’t seen each other in over a decade, none of us can recall the last time. Anyway, he asked me if I’d prefer being back in the office environment and my gut reaction was yes. Then I stopped and thought about it. With the exception of my time between Marvel and DC in 2002 and the current time, all I’ve known is the office environment. Now, I’m a social creature and love getting a gang together for lunch or being able to bop into people’s offices to shmooze or work. The isolation of sitting in the basement office, connected to the world via e-mail, IM and the phone, is a bigger adjustment than just the work. However, as I add more freelance assignments and stay busy, I’m making that adjustment to being home. There are also the home obligations that have become a positive factor – being here to see Robbie or having a fresh dinner ready when Deb returns home.

It’s a balancing act and one that won’t be solved today or even tomorrow.

4 comments

  • Or possibly ever. I have a friend who’s been freelance for twenty years but is now tiring of the lifestyle. They’ve even starting applying for office jobs, something I never thought they’d do.

    I’m coming up for six years off the leash and still find myself pining for office dynamics. Some days it just gets lonely being alone. But would I trade the freedom I have for an office job? Not today. Ask me again tomorrow, and my answer might be different…

  • Tom Spurgeon

    Hey, Bob:

    Can you drop me a note at above address with a snail mail. I have a very modest check for you for that old TCJ interview we talked about last Fall, and all of my e-mail contact lists were nuked in early January on a day I still refuse to believe happened.

    Best,

    Tom

  • Jackie

    Hang in there Bob, you’ll likely adjust and then that’s when an offer will come.

  • Eric Burch

    Hey Bob: I’ve just read your latest bit of (non?)fiction from “The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper” (May 1st edition). WW3 IS COMING! with quotes from Undersecretary of Global Catastophes Bernard Sensenmann and Major General Earnest T. Cornpone. Even the president was quoted to “bring it on.”

    You are the best.

    Any idea on when will this end? And what does your family think?

    Hang in there. Eric