Thursday, November 03, 2011

#2 Embracing Change

I'm participating in the 30 Days of Indie Travel Challenge on BootsnAll. Prompt #2: EMBRACING CHANGE. Change can be exciting and bring new joys into our lives. But it can present challenges that frustrate or annoy us. How has travel changed you in the last year? Did you welcome these changes or resist them at the time, and how do you feel about them now?

I've been wanting to take up more freelance work ever since I knew freelancing was a thing. And I never really did not because I didn't think I was good enough, but because I didn't know where to start. But a few months ago, when I started planning some trips and realized I didn't really want to wipe my savings clean, I started pursuing more freelance stuff.

Freelancing's hard, with more dead ends than leads. A lot of people don't need you right now, but maybe later. A lot of projects are one-time only, or the money runs out and they end. Working with some companies just plain sucks because they're unorganized or don't really know what they're doing. And in the work I've done, I'm usually paid a flat fee for one piece, which may sound like a fair price at the start, but that doesn't include the amount of time you spend researching.

But, I'm not complaining. Those are just realities. And even if a company's difficult to work for and I may never write for them again because they sucked so hard, frankly, I'm happy to have the $300 check from it. Because that's one round-trip domestic flight (if I fly Southwest and book my ticket far enough in advance).

My travel aspirations haven't changed the way I write, but they have changed the way I pursue being a writer. I was terrified of being rejected before, but now, it's just part of the business. In fact, I expect to be rejected by most of the clients I pitch. But you'll never know unless you ask.

I'm not making bank as a freelancer or anything. My full-time job comes first, so that restricts the amount of time I can spend writing other stuff and researching clients and projects to seek out. But I've done about 100% more freelance stuff than I did last year, which means I'm writing more and learning more and earning more and even though it sounds laughable, improving my Google rankings (if you don't think that's important, then get off the Internet).

It helps having a goal. I have a purpose for waking up at 6 a.m. This money's going to flying to Seattle for my sister's graduation, or a dinner with my friend Megan whenever I make it to Dallas or a road trip with my friend Lucy whenever I make it to New Zealand. Having this idea of where the money is going definitely helps, and even if I am just getting a $50 check for something that took a few hours, it's $50 more than I didn't have. And $50 checks add up, right?

The only thing I don't look forward to is tax season in April...

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