Kraftwerkin’ Day and Night was going to be the title of a section of my record collection, but it swelled into a behemoth of synthesizers and I had to change the game plan. Now, Kraftwerkin’ Day and Night is a blog section dedicated to the day-to-day activities of one lowly freelancer (that would be yours truly) who listens to things that sound like Kraftwerk while trying desperately to make a name for herself. I’m posting these updates because I get a ton of questions about working freelance. Maybe this will help. Maybe it will be entertaining too. I don’t know.
I work from a home office deep within the confines of Greater Hipsterville. Every day, I sit at a desk cluttered with Sanrio and San-X stationary. It’s totally kawaii. Unless I have to go out for an interview, I wear my freelance uniform. That’s yoga pants, a band t-shirt, a hoodie and Target socks decked out in funky patterns. When I run outside, I slip on Chuck Taylors. They don’t necessarily match my socks. Today, I’m wearing a Nine Inch Nails shirt that I bought when the Downward Spiral tour came to Los Angeles. Yes, that was 18 years ago, but there are no holes in the shirt, so it’s okay.
I am a consummate professional.
I like to think of myself as a goal-oriented team player and all those other things that HR people love to hear. Unfortunately, your average HR department doesn’t notice this, which is why I work freelance. I’m making the best of a hideous job market.
This isn’t an advice column. There are other people who excel at that. I’m not a particularly successful freelancer, nor am I a particularly successful writer. The only award I have is for updating my former employer’s Facebook page. Accolades aren’t even on my radar. When I get a cover story, it’s so out-of-the-ordinary that I’m genuinely excited about it. I’ve never so much as been in talks with people for big deal projects. I don’t have an agent. Amongst writers, I’m pretty much a loser. Better writers have literally looked down on me. (I am so not kidding about that. It was weird. Maybe I’ll tell you about it years from now.)
There are days when I think I’m tilting at windmills. Maybe I am. Still, I get up between 7 and 8 a.m. everyday, grab breakfast, head into the office and start working. I send out queries daily. Often they are rejected. Sometimes they aren’t. Yesterday, I pitched one editor two stories. One was accepted and I’m working on that today. I just finished the phone interview and need to start transcribing as soon as this post is written. The story in question will be done by tomorrow morning.
Anytime I ask myself why I’m doing this, I waste time. I plug away through the uncertainty, the rejections, the moments of absolute failure, because I can’t lose a minute. I keep going even though it might be true that I am a talentless fool because stubbornness runs on both sides of my family and because I suck more at everything else. No matter how badly writing hurts, no matter how much I want to quit, I have keep going. When people literally look down on you, the best thing you can do is pull on the yoga pants, lace up the Chucks and keep fighting.