a list for friday: a day in the life

7:30: Wake up. Consider complete depravity of a culture that requires one to do anything before 9am. Consider going for a run. Decide tomorrow will be better.

7:40: Make coffee. Check five most important email accounts while waiting impatiently for cup #1.

7:42: Email from client. Can I write a special enews to go out tomorrow? Sure.

7:45: Email from another client. We need a press release. Sorry so late. Tomorrow? Sure.

7:49: Email from local client. Any chance we could squeeze in a one-hour meeting in Franklin on Friday? Sure.

7:54: Email …


a list for friday—10 tips for freelancers

This is a repost of a list I originally created in 2009. The cat is no longer with us (miss you, Louie!) and I still have a lot to learn, but two years later these remain my best tips. Freelancing friends, anything you’d add?

As of this week, I’ve been a full-time freelancer for two years.  And although most days still find me scrambling to keep up with this total lifestyle change, I’ve achieved some measures of success: I pay all my bills, only occasionally carry on entire conversations …



This weekend I told my family I spend 90% of my time doing things I don’t want to do.

(On further consideration I revised my estimate to a more generous 80%.)

So: about 80% of my life is comprised of housework, laundry, grocery shopping, preparing meals, packing, unpacking, exercising, filing, paying bills, balancing my checkbook, cranking out copy, staying on top of emails, sitting in airports, researching, attending meetings, managing websites, mowing my yard, running errands, and meeting other assorted deadlines.

That leaves 20% for what I want to do: work on writing projects I care about (like this blog), read good …


work in progress

Lately I’ve had several discussions in which I found myself saying versions of what I don’t do:

Grant writing is a very specific niche and requires a lot of expertise to get dollars, so I would be more helpful in proofing your first or second draft.

The type of book you’re suggesting is equivalent in work and research to a master’s thesis and I can’t ghostwrite it for you; perhaps if you do the initial version I can edit it and make it better.

I can easily write SEO web copy but, trust me, it’s better for all of us if I don’t do the programming.

Also there was …


living dangerously

My friend Amanda uses the acronym “HALT” as a barometer for herself; becoming too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired signals a danger point, a condition she needs to address for her physical or emotional health.

Tonight I discovered my own danger point: resenting others for their free time. I had just booked tickets for yet another work-related trip, bringing my grand total for days home in November to eight. (And no, I am not saying which eight, in case you are a Nashville-area burglar. Then again, if you really want my DVD player from 2001, have at it.)

So, while pondering the exhausting month ahead of me, I drifted over to Facebook …