Monday, 16 July 2012

Death Wish 3000: The life of a freelancer

I sat bolt upright in bed last night as I always do every two months or so.
Then the reel card...Fido. I'm just minutes away from them all being cut off -- okay, not minutes, I exaggerate, as all freelancers do.
But it's getting close. So is my payday.
I can practically smell the Euros being deposited into my BMO account!
That's what I tell my creditors anyway.
I work for an international magazine that publishes every two months, which is my main gig. I do other things but being editor-in-chief keeps a body busy enough that it's hard to take on other commitments. I'm paid fairly well for my job so it allows me lots of other time to get into mischief, or look for other jobs when I start to panic.
The thing is, because the magazine is published every two months, I only get paid every two months so my financial situation requires a lot of juggling, not to mention phone calls to utility companies pleading for more time. As soon as I get paid, all the bills go, and I have enough money left for a couple bottles of wine and a steak dinner.
Wahoo. Livin' large!
It hasn't helped that number one son is out of work in the basement, and having trouble paying his share of the rent. That situation will, hopefully, be resolved in the next few weeks.
Right now, he's kind of in the ideation stage.
All the really great jobs are taken at the moment, and Nick is waiting for those students to go back to school so he can fulfill his life's dream -- working at Starbucks. Really, Nick is trying to become a poet and he's pretty good at it. Too bad beatniks don't get paid for their effort.
Also, Scott has changed jobs again which means that he's pretty much starting over in the car business. He used to sell Subarus and now he's selling Kias, which are more popular cars. But eeking through the first month has been difficult.
Juggling, as I said.
We're hoping to get Nick a roommate now that Shyla and Skylar have moved in with her mother. It's not a bad situation, really, for everyone. It means that we're not supporting three people in the basement aside from ourselves and Nick can concentrate on finding work instead of counting tiny toes.
A roommate would be a dream for us. It would take the pressure off us a little and let us concentrate on paying down a small amount of debt and veterinarian bills for dead and sick dogs.
Actually, I was thinking that, in a few years, Scott and I could rent one of those big houses near the university and take in students. I know several tennis pros who have done this and basically, they live rent free.
Sure, you might have to put up with smelly twenty-somethings who never wash their hair or their dishes, but hey, we've been doing that for years and NOT reaping any financial reward.
Something to think about.
I've recently started pounding the keyboard -- the new version of pounding the pavement -- looking for another gig, one that will give me a bit of financial security. Too bad the entire newspaper business imploded on itself in Canada recently littering the job market with more sad hacks like me.
Trying to remain optimistic, as they say.
Been down so long it looks like up to me.


  1. Rose crossing my fingers and toes for your family..and death to Conrad Black. who destroyed my newspaper career folding papers..and now the sob is writing in Huffy Post. Who says criminals can't get work...or get pref treatment to wiz right back into a country he gave up for a cape and a title...

  2. Rose...your my new hero..
    now i can show my kids their sick old photojournalist dad isn't the most cynical old dude to have ever walked the planet.."your all negative old man...move on..."
    thanks for the support..even if inadvertent
    ps..i used to be able to write..oh well
    Media critic for New York Times (David Carr)is a reformed crack addict and a brillant writer..he's watching the beloved paper drowning as they can't figure out how to charge for content..everybody wants for free from the "bloggers".

  3. From Gawker Khristopher J. Brooks is a young reporter who was excited to be hired by the Delaware News-Journal last week. In a playful little gesture, he wrote up a fake "press release" on his own personal Tumblr announcing, "On Wednesday April 4, 2012, the News Journal Media Group acquired veteran education reporter Khristopher J. Brooks." He included some quotes about his career and background on the paper itself. For this, he was immediately fired, because NEWSPAPER WORK MUST NEVER BE FUN.