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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My Life Right Now

Freelancing is fun.

I am able to spend more time with my son and I get to set my own schedule.
I realize that unemployed people have the same perks. Nevertheless there are many differences that seperate me from my unemployed brethren.

I get paid for exactly how much I do.

Since I get paid by the article I keep word count at a minimum. So much for rep- I know I can write. I know when I am cookin because the local Gannett will always pick-up my subject matter two weeks later and slap on a two thousand word rebuttal or expound on the subject.

That is easily four of my articles.

Everyone knows what I am capable of so I don't give a fuck.

I actually, in a fit of naivete, applied to the same shitty paper. The publisher is a good catholic friend of my ex-boss. I won't even waste my time.

When I first started I began to realize the power and influence an editor can have over finished work. My old editor micromanaged my work adding her own words to change the tone of my articles. She obviously never bothered to study the elements of style. She would take all the wit and humor out my pieces replacing it with bland tasteless prose.

A good piece could have been excellent.

I know that sounds and is narcissistic, but hey, thats the nature of the beast- don't fuck with genius, let it develop, nurture it, then acknowledge it.

Or it may wake up and bite.

I remember one particular piece early on in my young career when she added approximately 200 hundred words out of two thousand and put her byline on it- I considered that a form of acknowledgement and was cocksure it would lead to some type of goldpot at the end of the rainbow scenario.

Wrong.

I never got paid, so I Freelance. Now she has some imitation Dave trying to jack me for info, all the time.

My advice?

Do what I did, teach yourself, that is where your value lies.

To her credit she challenged me to improve.
And I did
Beyond all expectations.

Oh yeah, back to why I like freelancing

The government cannot withhold any of the money coming to me for any reason.

I can skip an appointment and I won't run the risk of losing benefits(because I don't have any).

My son can be proud that his daddy is a writer(it sounds good) and can still kick his friend's daddy's ass.

I get to meet influential people on the premise of writing a story and create one along the way.

I go to lots of catered, free luncheons , press pass dangling with my borrowed camera in my front pocket.

I get a lot of close ups of accidents and always make it around the police tape at crime scenes, writing pad in hand, pen at the ready with a form of anticipatory adrenaline slowly coursing through my veins. Ooooh that feels good!

"What you doing here" They ask

I always act surprised and explain I am a freelance reporter, they usually share my excitement before they come to their senses and remove me.

Except for the firemen; I have not gotten close to a fire yet.

But now something is different, there is a shift occuring.

Lately I have been trying to push the envelope, shedding the Mr Nice Guy routine.

In Utica it pays to be nice; but I am starting to realize it pays better to be mean and just smile a lot.

I have been in contact with some pretty good businesses in the area and I thinking about getting back on the grid. Like I said I love freelance but I have a son and it ain't like I'm writing for Time Magazine.

The kid has needs and they are only going to grow.

I don't want to hear any talk about consumer mentality, materialism or any of the other hypocritical counter consumer culture shit we have been heaving all over cyberspace.

The shit sounds real good when the power is on and most of the bills are paid.

I want money and good ideas on getting a lot of it.

It is that simple.

My goals, as I write -right now- are shifting.

I can feel the mother of rants coming on

but I won't let her out,

can't let her out;

it won't change a thing.

2 comments:

luminaria said...

it pays to be nice; but I am starting to realize it pays better to be mean and just smile a lot. OMG David, you said it. I used to write for the business desk of a corporate news agency and had the same experience of having editors take control of my writing, to tone it down for the taste of advertisers and stock owners. That was back in the 1990s with the dot-com bubble and Vegas-style trading. I worked there almost five years before I gagged and bailed. I wrote for a local weekly for awhile, but even that rag had its narrow definitions of expression. The only advantage was a press pass, but so what if I was so restrained in reporting the truth of what I saw. It wasn't until the blogosphere went stratospheric that I finally have free expression. Have to take a day job, but it's the only way I know to GET THE WORD OUT.

David B. Dancy said...

You are so right; soon i am going to launch a no holds barred blog under a psuedonym. There are many deer in my headlights.