In a couple of days it will be six months since I parted ways with my former employer and found myself among the growing population of accidental freelancers—former day-job editors suddenly out on their own in the jungles of indie and self-publishing.
Perhaps the jungle metaphor sounds too ominous, because I do like this safari. But it can’t be denied that it has its scary moments. When’s the next manuscript coming? When’s the check coming? Those are the freelancer’s defining questions. So far, I’ve been lucky. I came out of my job with severance pay and, as a writer myself, a perfectly timed contract for a Star Trek eBook with Simon & Schuster.
My first big gig as a freelance editor, a novel from a self-publisher, also came within a couple of months. There have been hints and whispers of other jobs, but so far only one other editing gig. On the writing front, a spec project I’m developing with an agent may go somewhere . . . or it may not.
I’m still finding my way, developing new routines, searching for the right balance between social-media promotion and writing time. I have writing projects I’m organizing for indie publishing and others I’m preparing for traditional publishing. And I continue to advertise my freelance availability online (see Yeahsure Editorial Services for more info!) and in Suspense Magazine.
All along I’ve kept my eye on job openings. As much as I would prefer to stay home and pursue my writing while taking in editing gigs, it’s an uncertain revenue stream, and if the right offer came along I would have to seriously consider going back to a day job. So far, I’ve had six months of looking at ads for report writers, technical writers, attorney editors, and proposal writers and editors—nothing I’d really want to do, and nothing I’m particularly qualified for. There was one job I had killer qualifications for, so I sent off my application and perfect résumé for the position . . . but I didn’t even get an interview.
So here I am, at home, sitting at the computer, typing away. I hope I get to stay. And, remember, if you know anyone who needs an editor . . .