Forty-eight hours into the new year, and I can tell you this:
The good news is that I am still freelancing, still enjoying it and still making money. The bad-ish news: I did lose an assignment. Or I walked away from it. Or the contract ended, and I made no move to extend it. Or some of all of the above.
It happens that even with things you enjoy doing, you get to a point where there is reason to stop. Oprah Winfrey made the decision to end her daily talk show after 25 years, so she could move on to something just a little bigger – her own network. Her daily show still pulls in about 6 million viewers daily, she has enormous clout in the political and entertainment worlds, and her word literally means gold for products she features on the program.
But even Oprah knows when it’s enough of a good thing, and it’s time to let go and move on to take a bigger risk. On this particular job, I felt some of that. I enjoyed the work and the research that went into the assignments, but there were issues with publishing deadlines, assignments getting lost and computer crashes at the editor’s end, and the money did not cover the cost of the research. I did have the opportunity to speak with some very interesting and passionate people, and might well have continued the job, just for the national exposure.
But in the end, it’s about realizing that there are always going to be other jobs out there. Some may be more problematic than this one; hopefully most will be less so. This freelance side-life is turning out to be a lot like the interstate, with roadblocks where you don’t expect them, insufficient rest stops and a decent share of fender-benders and gawkers. I figure if I do my best to ignore all the extraneous noise, I will make it through the rush hour to My Next Life’s destination.