Why it’s been horrible:
- I am driven to send my first lawyer’s letter. It’s called a Letter of Demand and it’s served – by hand – to recalcitrant clients who repeatedly ignore my pleas for payment. This client owed me money for a year. Did they pay? Yes. They were truly flummoxed, that a nice harmless woman like me would resort to hiring a lawyer. They thought I was happy waiting a year, they thought I enjoyed sending e-mails every other month to ask politely: How's progress? They thought I liked being side-lined.
- It looks like I have to send another one. To a law firm which owes me money. Amazing, I have to hire a law firm to prod another law firm.
- I am bullied by the Government tendering system. Essentially, I do 150% of the work – and this is by word count meaning I write something like 1,500 words when only 1,000 is required – but I am told that going by the system I can only be paid for 1,000. Even if I were to write 10,000 words I’d still be paid for 1,000. I am so disappointed I cannot bring myself to finish what I owe them.
- I take on a lot of book projects because these days they give me a lot more buzz than a magazine article. The problem with books is that I don’t usually get paid until the book is published. It’s never been a problem, I had a lot of ‘small work’ to carry me through the months, but I only realize now that by taking on so many books I can’t squeeze in time for small work. Essentially I will have to live off my husband until the cheques come at the end of the year perhaps?
- I’m really bad at valuing and managing myself and even after 10, 11 years of freelancing, I'm still as bad. Its like cooking. Some things, I just suck at. Even Day, after he realizes some of the s#$t I have to put up with, scolds me: "Mama, how can you let people bully you like that?!?" I'm not setting a very good example there... you know, standing up for yourself and all.