I admit that in the past year or so, I’ve fallen into a bit of a routine (rut?) when it comes to my freelance work. I get half of my income, steadily, through my job at the library — which is wonderful, by the way. I definitely recommend part-time work to freelancers or would-be-freelancers, since the stability of that paycheck takes a lot of the pressure off accepting any assignment that comes your way, no matter how ill-fitted you are for it, just to make sure the lights stay on.
But part of that routine has robbed me of the motivation I once had to pursue new avenues for business. The very first day after I had quit my full-time job, one of my main freelance clients cut my pay by 25% (these cuts were made to all their editors, btw). Although I panicked, in some ways, the timing was perfect. Because if it had happened just one workday earlier, I would have been tempted not to pursue my dream of freelancing after all. As it was, I’d already jumped in the river. And I knew I was going to have to find something else, and fast. That was in November 2008. I put out pitches and applications every Friday, even though that meant I had no earning potential on those Fridays. By January, I’d been taken on by Scribendi, which is where I continue to get the bulk of my non-library income.
As I prepare to get married next year, I’m reassessing everything in my life, from how many clothes are in my closet to how many hours I should be spending per day on my writing. My fiance has offered to make me a “real” website to direct people to who might want to check out my services. I’m going to hire my sister to design the logo that will run along the top of the site when I change my “business name” from Lacey Louwagie to … something else. I want to get back into the habit of devoting Fridays to investigating new leads. And I might even — gasp — spend money on advertising.
It’s good to have a routine, to not have to worry every day whether I’ll make enough money to eat or fill my car with gas or run my AC. But it’s good to be shaken up every once in a while, too. I look forward to seeing what will happen with my writing life in what promises to be the biggest shake-up my life has ever known.