Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to freelance?

It is conceivable that I could go back to full-time freelancing. I'm up for that Holy Grail of freelancing, the permanent part-time gig, which would give me a reliable base-salary equal to what I made in my worst year of freelancing. (About half what I make at my day job.)

I could pile work on top of that and approach a reasonable facsimile of my current income.

So why am I so petrified at this idea?

1. It seems irresponsible. The regular paycheck, the 401K, the absolute knowledge that the work is there: How can I give that up?

2. Fear of running out of work. True, my friends have been almost literally banging down my door to hook me up with amazing contacts, and the work has been coming in. And the only reason that I fell out of freelancing before was that personal crises of various sorts made me less than dependable. But how do I know that won't happen again?

3. It's shitloads harder. When I freelance, I have a keener sense that any wasted time is money I'm not making, and I don't have a good constitution for that; I am the worst, meanest boss I've ever had. I remember the extreme, amazing relief I felt when I graduated college and started my first job, and realized that at the end of the day, I was done. Done. No looming deadlines, no worrisome unfinished business, nothing stopping me from sleeping at night: Done. You cannot put a price tag on something so precious; I'm bad at compartmentalizing, letting things go.

As each of his daughters moved out, our dad's empire expanded. He likes to have a separate workspace for every project, and he now has desks, piles of books, and stacks of folders piled around the house. I get it: I'm envious, and I also get the shudder-horrors at the idea of reaching total saturation on one article, getting up to clear my head, and wandering into another room, only to be confronted with an alarming amount that needs to be done on another one. I think that's what the inside of my head is like.

Well, but that's what they call a tangent. The point is, I'm weighing my options. Right now, my job is fine, but as I've noted, they're none too fond of pregnant ladies or mommies there. And I don't know how I could explain to my baby that what took me away from her was... the holiday promotion. I'm going to be working essentially two full-time jobs in the runup to this baby-happening; what happens after the fact is anyone's guess. Eeeeeek!

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