The Existential Horror of Downtime
Freelancing is a feast-or-famine type of thing, and I'm in a slow cycle right now. When this happens, two very different impulses battle for dominance in my head. The part of me that remembers what it's like to live on macaroni and cheese with tuna in it wants to spend every millisecond working, even if that means doing more work for places that don't pay as well as they should. The other part is more rational. It knows that if I spend time doing business development, it has a good chance of paying off, which means fewer slow times later. The rational voice is smart. I'm trying to listen to it.
First I had to build a new website. My old one got hacked recently, and I gave up my struggle with Wordpress for good. It turns out with my level of website design ability, I should have been using Wix in the first place. What would have taken me months to rebuild in Wordpress took me a day and a half in Wix...and I think it looks great. So, easy mode for the win.
So now, armed with a flashy new site, I face the hard part: finding places that are likely to be paying freelancers decently, sending out letters, and waiting. The goal here is to make meaningful connections with a publisher, forming a working relationship that will pay off in the long term for both of us.
One of my editing teachers told us that she did this once and never had to seek out new clients ever again. That was a lovely story. I sent out a batch of letters last year with only a small bit of success, and I'm slightly less optimistic this time. I think maybe she did it several years ago, before the publishing sector became so unforgiving.
But you have to play to win! So that's my goal for this week: shipping out 10 more letters and seeing what sticks. Wish me luck.