My diary is wide open at the moment for November which always makes me twitchy. When you’re freelance getting the bills paid can sometimes be a bit precarious and advanced planning of cash flow is always in the front of my mind. I try to work two or three months in advance with such things. You know, to provide myself some sort of job security like you normal folks usually have.
For every paid project that happens there are at least two that fail in the planning stage. Sometimes a possible partner organisation says they’ll get back to me but never do. Sometimes a suggested submission is just flat out rejected. Sometimes projects are approved but fall through due to beaurocracy and restrictions. Sometimes project funding gets pulled last minute. Sometimes, despite lengthy negotiations, a potential client will tell me “I’m sorry but I thought you were delivering this for free.”*
Then sometimes, just sometimes, I get a random contact telling me that they want me to deliver a new workshop for them. They want me to start now. Yes they have money. Yes they understand all the wonderful things their demographic of client can expect to get out of doing my course. They’ll learn a new skill, be artistic, get confidence, learn team-building and working with others. They’ll learn how to look at their own streets with a fresh and positive perspective and be more aware of how wonderful their surroundings. They’ll consider being mindful as they go about their daily routine. They’ll help themselves to become more open to embracing new opportunities. They will see their world through the camera lens and it will be different and wonderful and they’ll embrace what’s possible rather than dwelling on problems.
It’s days like these that I love being freelance. All the rejections and disappointments melt away far into the distance. I stop caring about the bills and I get all gooey and excited about meeting new people and helping them to enhance their own worlds. Days like these help me to feel positive and optimistic. Thanks world!
*You can imagine how that goes down. After being upfront about charges. In writing. To be expected to not be paid for the work you do is not only unfair but it’s most definitely insulting. The people who ask such things are usually salaried employees themselves and really take umbrage with me when I ask them if I can have their salary and they can then work for free instead of me. Last time I looked we’d abolished slavery. This is NOT how the world works!