Rolling dice (#SFWApro)

One of the drawbacks to freelance writing is that there’s a lot of work “on spec,” AKA on speculation AKA you can work your butt off and not get any money for it. By contrast, I’ve had stories when I was on staff at the Destin Log that fell through, but I still got my salary.
That said, there are different levels of spec. Having a contract that says “yes, we’ll take your story if it’s good” is much less risky than sending something in with no commitment or offer from anyone. However, a lot of time spec is the only way to land a contract, a deal or a steady freelance gig.
Case in point, this week. Last week I was working on a test project for a company that provides infographics to websites. I turned it in, they weren’t satisfied, so I had to use some of this week (i.e., the three days I was actually here and working) to retry it. It’s been more work than I thought but that’s mostly adjusting to a new format, so I don’t think it’s a bad sign, assuming they like it.
On top of that, I redrafted my proposal for my new film reference book. Which again, took more time than I thought.
And then, out of the blue, a company I’d applied to that does real-estate research asked for yet another test-run project. Which I didn’t have time to do, so I’ll have to work on it next week. It’s going to be a real challenge, but the money’s good enough that I’d love to land the gig.
Having to juggle all that work on top of my usual Demand Media articles, and in such a short time-frame was … intense. And having to finish next week is going to throw off my plans for this month. I may not make the Demand Media quota I’d set (this is my bread-and-butter stuff, so that’s a big deal) and it may turn out whatever real-estate piece I turn in just isn’t good enough. I considered just saying no—I’ve done it before—but I think it’s worth the risk.
If it doesn’t last, well, I can take pride that at least someone’s showing interest in my freelance skills. I won’t kick myself for what doesn’t work out (as I sometimes do, as noted earlier this week).And if the companies decide to use the work, I will get paid, so it’s not like I’m freelancing for free (bad idea!).
An exhausting week but who knows? It may turn out to have been very good for me.
(And yes, as you can tell from the title, I’m linking my posts to the SFWA Twitter feed again)


Filed under Nonfiction, Writing

3 responses to “Rolling dice (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Curses (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Yeah, the bear pretty much got me (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: 101 again (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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