tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Freelancing

I have a spiral bound notebook that has been travelling around with me for the past several weeks. It has different sections, colour coded with stripes down the sides and different coloured lines on the pages. The blue section has the details of the company I'm currently freelancing for and various copies of the different train times for my various journeys up here. The yellow section has notes for a couple of the websites I'm trying to start, and there are various things in the other sections.

All very unremarkable, and without note (excuse the poor pun.)

Except the notebook represents to me the changing fortunes you get as a freelancer. When I bought it, from the everything-is-one-pound 'Wizard' store on North Street in Brighton, I also bought a drawing pad, something I don't even remember, then I went to the Starbucks in the East Lanes and bought one of their ridiculously priced Frappacino milkshake-like things.

Somewhere among those two transactions I spent the last of my actual money.

While I have an overdraft and some credit, going in to debt was quite a scary process, as I wasn't sure what was going to get me out again. A client payment from overseas was pending but not expected for several weeks, the work from my local clients had temporarily dried up, my car needs welding up and I knew I was going to have to move soon. It's not pleasant when you hit these sorts of cashflow problems as a freelancer, and this was the first time it had happened to since I'd lost my full time job.

Now, the notebook half full, much thinner than it started out, I've been in work for over six weeks, the bank balance is healthy, if not ecstatic, and I can quite happily ponce about in Starbucks as much as I like.

What is this leading to? Not much, a reminder to myself for when I need it that things can swing around quickly, that work can appear much quicker than it peters out, and that when all else fails, the willingness to take the job wherever it comes up can be a great help when finding work, and potential new long-term clients.


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