Feast or Famine

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. A freelance writer probably spends more of his time seeking assignments than actually doing the work. After all, we need to generate and sell ideas or we have little to do.

Our reputation and skill sets will get us work, but we can’t depend upon the kindness of editors. Instead, we need a wide and deep network, keep out ears to the ground and pounce on opportunities.

I despaired recently that out-of-the-blue assignments have dropped off dramatically since the Wonder Woman book was offered me back in June. That’s a perfect reason why one cannot sit back and wait for the phone to ring.

I also note that earlier this year, I was excited because I had so many different irons in the fire that I thought 2009 would be another good year. Several of those projects just aren’t generating interest and have cooled off considerably. My major fall project was to start after Labor Day and only really started on Friday. It really does appear to feast or famine.

As a result, my mood can swing from despair to elation depending on the day. Wednesday, for example, I was agitated and three different things went wrong all based on the cowardice of editors or colleagues unwilling to talk directly to me but passing messages through intermediaries. I’d much rather hear bad news from the source and have a chance to understand what went wrong and if possible, get the chance to fix it myself.

Today, though, the phone rang and I was offered an assignment. It’s cool and it’s very exciting although not necessarily lucrative. But it’s the kind of thing I cannot possibly say no to. Here’s the catch: it’s a ghostwriting gig and I can not reveal what it is or who it is for. Nope, no way. If I do, I spoil the project and most likely cost myself ever working for the company again. But trust me, it’s really nifty.

I was also offered a copy editing gig this afternoon, not because I’m a great copy editor, but more because I understand the concepts being written about and can be a fresh pair of eyes to ensure it makes sense to the client. That’s a short term gig and it was nice to receive.

Finally, a spec project that keeps inching towards a sale has been delayed again and again but now it appears the thumbs up or down will finally come on Tuesday and that’s encouraging.

So, to sum up, on my desk right now is the major unannounced project that will keep me busy half a month for the next 15 months. Additionally, I have a comic book script to write followed by the copy editing followed by the ghost writing. Suddenly, my plate filleth and all is right with the world.

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