Ebb and Flow

The one thing I dislike most about being a freelancer at home is the ebb and flow of the work (and subsequently the money). In an office environment, there is always something that can be done, whether it’s the work of the day, something you’ve put off for a long time, or pitching in to help the guy next door. When you’re sitting at your home office, there’s no one to help but yourself.

Over the last week or so, the various long-term project management assignments I’ve taken on all hit lulls. Time passes slowly, I find ways to stretch out projects and find myself working slower and wasting time I shouldn’t be wasting. After all, when I was busy, I put aside the original novel outline and keep meaning to get back to it.

The work I have done has been done well and quickly, moving projects to varying states of completion. I also recognize two projects — if not three — are moments away from swinging into high gear which will fill my time quite nicely. But until then…

And of course, if things slow down, that also means my ability to bill for work has slowed down. Some are totally dependent on their freelance incomes and I sympathize for them since I see how tough things can be. In September, I worked on projects all month but brought in all of $145 in actual cash. October, though, was much better and will help out well into the holidays. It’s maddening how some companies pay on publication, some on acceptance, some 60 days after delivery, and so on. The inconsistencies mean you need to keep writing and producing so eventually the cash flow is more than a trickle. Those living this way, need to keep a cushion in the bank for those lean months (plus money set aside for the taxes).

Should those three things mentioned above get going soon, two of them pay weekly so a reasonable cash flow can be anticipated, which will keep me from going nuts.

And if it works, then working as a full-time freelancer may well be my next chapter.

One comment

  • Susan O

    It brings to mind Sean Connery in the movie “Finding Forrester,” where he’s holed up in his house, but keeps writing, and any time he needs a written piece, he goes to the drawer where they’re all neatly organized, and pulls out whatever relevant piece he’s already written, proofreads and tweaks it, and there it is, another piece ready to go out in short order. Keep your drawer full!