On living life as a freelancer

I’d been a full-time worker for 16 years. First for a telecommunications company when I was 20, then a newspaper writer/editor in my later twenties and then the associate editor at magazine in my mid-thirties.

Not all of them were great jobs, they had their moments, sure, and I worked myself up the ranks as one sometimes is able to do at certain places, until last year, when myself and the magazine parted ways.

I soon was able to dive into freelance editing and writing, which was something I’d wanted to do for years and had seen the fella make a decent living doing until he found his perfect full-time gig that he has now.

After spending a year working long hours and then having a 45-minute commute after a 15-minute walk to the subway (FiDi kinda sucks in that regard, amiright?!), I was excited at the prospect of Working From Home. I love wearing my jammies, hate vegging out in front of the tellie, and I like being busy writing and editing, so what’s not to love?

Ummmm, first off, the fact that I’m too “Nervous Nellie” to make a full-time life out of part-time work. Second, I’ve been able to work with some good people who send work my way to keep me afloat, but sometimes there are lulls between projects, and that’s when I bite my nails off and have many, many sleepless nights. Third, in this day and age as fledgling freelancer, you do have to just look and hope for a full-time job.

Looking for one is almost a full-time job in and of itself, and it’s daunting, exhausting and let’s face it, depressing. Thirty-odd resumes go out, and, if you’re lucky, you get two calls and maybe, if you’re really, really lucky, one of them leads to that elusive in-person meeting.

Sometimes, you have to spend a full day doing a massive project just to get an interview, and when you do get the interview, you find out that neither person you met with even looked at said project that you busted ass on. You’ll find out later that neither of these people will ever contact you again, not even to say, “Thanks for coming in, but we’ve decided to move ahead with another candidate.” (I’m looking at you, “popular” nightlife/lifestyle site with an office between Houston and Canal who shall remain nameless.)

But I’ve enjoyed some of the things I’ve been able to add to my resume, like the legal and financial writing/editing that are at the complete opposite end of my entertainment/food/music background.

And I’m thankful for the exploring of New York I’ve been able to do in the downtime between freelance gigs, particularly in my neighborhood of Harlem, where I discovered a passion for the stretch of Riverside Drive from the George Washington Bridge down to the 90s. So pretty, so classically New York.

I’m also thankful that I can actually say for the first time that I wrote a book because being a published author has been a lifelong dream of mine, what I really wanted to be When I Grew Up. I actually started one and finished it, which I’d never been able to do before. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting it published sometime this year.

My time not being full-time hasn’t been all that bad. It’s been a learning experience by allowing me to expand my area of expertise, it’s even allowed me the time to focus on good, ole me for a change, and it’s allowed me the much-needed chance to recharge and prepare for the next phase of my career.

Always look on the bright side of life, that’s what my dear friends in Monty Python always said …


About nikkimmascali

I am an editor, writer and New Yorker who has ink for blood and the blog name + tattoo to prove it. Also of note: I follow more dogs than people on Instagram. This is my blog about reading, writing and absolutely no 'rithmetic because I am horrendous at math.
This entry was posted in Creative Pursuits, On writing, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to On living life as a freelancer

  1. vassvdm says:

    Hi Nikki,
    I really like your blog!
    I’m part of a team that has recently launched a new freelancer marketplace called Seven Days. It’s focused on meritocracy and beating the feast-or-famine lifestyle that freelancers are usually faced with. We’re always looking for talented writers such as yourself, especially when they have expertise in areas like finance/legal/food/etc, which means that the writer really understands what she’s writing about and can therefore deliver better quality.
    If you’re interested, or just curious, I’d be really grateful if you could have a look and give me your feedback: http://www.sevendays.co.
    Anyway have a great day!

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