Mark Terry

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Ramblings of a Disturbed Mind

October 19, 2006
I'm wondering if by posting this if the previous post I did first thing this morning which disappeared will reappear like yesterday's did. (I is a pro-FESS-ional righter. Doo knot tried these @ whom.)

Finished: "What Terrorists Want," last night. It's a fascinating book, although toward the end I felt like she did the quintessential college professor thing and got sort of abstract about what should be done.

Ate at a chinese buffet for lunch today. Does it bother anybody that the chinese buffet is next door to a small animal veterinary practice? And what was that batter-coated glittering red gooey sauce-covered stuff, anyway? It said almond shrimp, but I swear, there wasn't anything inside the batter.

Had one of my good regular clients tell me they were cutting off these short pieces, but they were re-thinking the freelance position and would be back to me at the beginning of 2007 about some good paying feature articles. I assured him that when his predecessor hired me to do this work a year ago he had thought it would end in March, so I've had 7 very lucrative months of work I really didn't expect.

The only concern is that I've cut off one client for next year (and come to think of it, I received a check today that was $50 short, and I need to nag about this) because I was tired of the gig and it didn't pay all that great, one of my best-paying clients had an editorial change and just stopped hiring me, and my regular freelance and book reviewing gig disappeared. That sounds more frightening than it is because I've gotten additional book contracts, a new big client that seems to have a ton of very, very good-paying work for me, and I recently picked up another good-paying client that if I pull off the first job is likely to have plenty more work for me to do.

Still...

I prefer to quit than be fired.

In the "be-careful-what-you-wish-for" front, AuthorBuzz took off this week and the response has been far more than I expected, resulting in several hundred people signing up for my E-Newsletter mailing list and/or e-mailing me directly to say they were interesting in a copy of "11 Minutes." This is wonderful, but I've been spending several hours e-mailing out the PDF of the short story this week. For all of you who signed up--thank you very, very much. And if you're wondering why you haven't gotten the story yet, rest assured, I'm working on it.

Anyway, back to work.

Best,
Mark Terry

2 Comments:

Blogger spy scribbler said...

I prefer to quit than be fired.

Funny! Don't we all? But you weren't, technically, fired. How do you deal with the uncertainty of the freelance life? I freelance in both music and words, and I gotta tell you, it just makes me crazy. There are actually days that I seriously consider taking a 75% paycut to work in a coffee shop and get a regular paycheck and health insurance.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

SS,
It's the toughest thing to get used to, no doubt. No, wasn't fired--laid off, I guess.

One, my wife has a good steady job with excellent healthcare benefits.

Two, you have to have faith that you'll get work and soon. (And faith that yes, that check WILL come).

Three, we live reasonably frugally, and always have. Or perhaps a better description is, we live within our means. We had one screw-up in 2005 when we sort of forgot that my quarterly taxes were due just prior to our planned trip to Disney World. That took us some time to get over. The solution now is that not only do I keep an Excel file for my expenses and checks, but a separate Excel file I've dubbed Accounting Running Totals, in which every time I get a check in, I figure out the federal and state taxes on it, create a column for each of those, then about every week I add up what I owe in taxes that quarter, print it out and give it to my wife. It's a reminder that the tax bill is coming and how much we're going to owe.

12:04 PM  

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