Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hanging up the Hard Hat and Unrolling the Dredging Net

I have resigned from the Comma Mines. I hung up the hard hat just before my vacation, and will embark on a freelance career. In consquence, in addition to posting on weird industry stuff, language, books, editing, and anything we think even remotely relevant to the industry, I'll be posting semi-regular reports on my new, shiny, exciting, not to mention terrifying freelance career.

Freelance Annals, Part 1
I returned from vacation yesterday to the news that one potential three-month freelance tech. editing gig had vanished, because the individual for whom I would have been covering had returned early from parental leave, and another part-time job had been awarded to someone with more immediately relevant experience. On the more hopeful side, an e-mail from a contact at a publishing house who saw my work at the Comma Mines just before I departed thence e-mailed me to ask if I wanted to do some more work for them any time in the immediate or more distant future. My response said "Yes! Sure! How about now?" but in a slightly more dignified manner.

I have sent one e-mail to the tech. editing client saying "Sorry I won't get to work with you. Glad your editorial needs are being met. Hope to work with you some other time," and one to a contact who had asked me to e-mail when I got back from vacation, saying "Hi, I'm home!" I've arranged one lunch with a freelance friend, and phoned one other freelancer who frequently has too much work, just to keep in touch.

Before I left, I applied for two one-year contracts, and have heard nothing. It's summer, people are taking vacations and covering for other people on vacations, and oftentimes people don't respond to applicants, so I should simply forget about those, and forge ahead. I also cold-called one publisher and received an encouraging but not-yet-fruitful response to my inquiry ("Thanks for your resume. All of our current projects are with their editors, but I'll certainly keep you in mind for future projects."Maybe he was just being nice, but I'm glad the e-mail didn't sink without even a faint plonk.)

Tasks for the rest of the week include the following:
  • Invoice freelance client from April. I'm going to need that cash.
  • Phone or e-mail at least five contacts from my "People to Call for Work" list, and inquire about work.
  • Apply for GST number and BIN. DONE.
  • Computer maintenance and upgrades.
  • Other stuff as it comes up.
Nothing has walked in the door yet. I shouldn't worry, yet, right?