It's hard to explain the peculiar existence that is the freelancing life to people who don't, well, freelance. Sometimes it becomes difficult to separate my personal life from my professional one since both occur in pajamas, with five cups of coffee, and my ancient, chubby cat with the crazy eye on my lap. These are strange and wonderful days.
Let us imagine, for a moment, a day in the life of the freelance writer (okay, it’s me). Mid-morning finds me padding into the kitchen for a snack in my uniform of ragtag, and probably unsettling to the outside eye, assortment of pajama clothes. A little bit of work later, there I am shuffling (and sometimes marching, depending on how much coffee I’ve consumed) back to the kitchen for my reward for said work — some combination of meat and cheese if I’m lucky, cold soup out of a can if I’m not. Often, when feeling particularly dedicated to a project, I transform from writer to adventurer. I know I must eat to go on, so I dutifully forage for sustenance and then slurp my Progresso, so that I can sally forth, trusty steed (okay, it’s the same fat cat with the oddball eye) beside me, to add another sentence to my city of words.
Really, all the hours of work, cans of soup, and pajamas to launder, come down to that one shining moment when I’m in the verbal zone. This zone often emerges out of the most difficult of writing tasks; you know the ones: they initially appear so confounding and insurmountable that you avoid them for as long as you can. Avoidance techniques differ from person to person. My evasion is usually of the aforementioned meat and cheese variety, but it can also involve a number of pointless activities, including, but not limited to, internet research that is really just gussied up social network prowling, searches for long-lost items that have fallen behind furniture, and the organization of the iTunes library. The one item it never seems to include, though, is cleaning — a fact immediately apparent upon entering this scribbler’s apartment.
However, on those rare occasions, the avoided chore becomes a piece of writing I can be proud of. Watching that growth process, which many people describe as something that takes place outside of them, is rather extraordinary. It may not be the same as seeing a human born, but these word babies are the closest we logophiles get to that maternal miracle. Face it, folks, sentence spawning is sexy.
Yet the maternal imagery doesn’t end there. As my link to just about everything writerly, my computer has become the umbilical cord that connects me to my aspirations. Every morning, I wake up and rush to turn it on, hoping to find a missive alerting me that I have become a writing success overnight (please note, this missive has not yet arrived). One of the most thrilling aspects of the life of the cyber-scribe is the refresh button, which seems to offer an eternal promise of newness; with a single click, everything could change.