Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Brother, Can You Spare a...Freelance Editing Gig?"

Being unemployed is hard work. No, really, it is. After working for so many years, and nearly twenty of them with one company, I have had to learn what to do with myself, how to fill my days. There is so much to do, I just don't know where to start.

I thought that this was what I wanted. I used to tell people, "I'd perhaps like to work part-time or just freelance from home."

And for a while, I did freelance -- mainly alongside my full-time job, and starting to do my editorial freelance work usually after 10 p.m., when the kids were in bed and the kitchen was cleaned up for the next day. But it kept my mind occupied and my skill set sharp.

It's over a year that I lost my job...sort of paving my own way out. I did get a severence package that was not great, even though I'd worked for so many years for the same company -- but I'd had a lowly job, nothing managerial.

And for a while after the job ending, I did have freelance gigs from time to time -- they kept my mind alert, and gave me a reason to find excuses not to do the morning dishes, not to do the laundry, etc.

But for some reason, those gigs have dried up. And I truly miss them, along with the cash they brought in.

When I first began to freelance circa 2000, I'd been very resourceful, and found myself a couple of publishers to do work for. Because I had a full-time job, I had to take on editorial jobs with far-off deadlines, which would allow for the work and courier travel time for the manuscript to get to and from the publishers. But my work was good, and the books were rather similar to those of my regular 9-5 job.

My name was also given out by someone with high recommendations, for which I'm thankful. But those high recommendations as well as the most flattering compliments after doing my first job for the person to whom I was referred made my ego swell somewhat. After all, being told that the person had never seen such a professional, excellent job of copy editing, and that "you're the only copy editor for me...we're going to be doing a lot of stuff together" would lead one to bank on it, don't you think?

Apparently, I'm not the "only copy editor" for this person because I've seldom seen a manuscript from them, when it was implied that it would be a regular gig.

I've been looking not only for freelance but for full-time editorial and / or social services work (my volunteer experience over the years has been in that field), and I'm starting to feel pressure. I really don't want to settle for just any kind of job that is meant to bring in a pay check, but that might be the route I have to take.

I have beautiful trees on my property, but a money tree is not one of them!

If anyone has any need for an editor/copy editor/proofreader/speech writer/copywriter/researcher, or knows someone who does, please contact me. I'd like to think that I'm good at what I do -- because I've been told that; not because I think so -- and would like to share my skills and knowledge with others.