Working To Live

HolidaysTypical Scottish weather. After a day of grey drabness the nation woke up to glorious warmth and sunshine. I preferred it yesterday. By the time I got into work I was already sticky and sweaty – not pleasant when you have to work in this strip-lit, air-conditioned hell that is my day job.

Michelle Miles was talking recently about the problem of novelists staying published after they’ve been published and it got me to thinking. The same thing applies in the freelance world.

When I started out I took a no holds barred approach to finding clients and getting work, and things went well. I’m going through a dry period at the moment, though, and for whatever reason behind that, the pressure is still the same – one can’t rely on the same sources of work for any length of time. In other words – a writer won’t be published all of the time. We have to accept it.

The things in common with freelance and fiction writers are to keep things simple and straight forward: keep writing, keep searching, and keep that chin up. How else is one to muddle through the mess?

I’ve got hold of all my Rome pictures now (I had to wait on some of the ones Gail took) but they are all in RAW format. So it’ll be a day or two yet before get them up here. I’ve written out my wee story of the trip to Rome – just no pics! Patience is a virtue.

Devon: You’re probably going to hate me when tell you just how much holidays I get each year in the company I work for, but I’m going to say it anyway :-). Dependent on how many years you’ve worked is the level of paid holidays. I’m on 33 days per year now (it’s almost 10 years I’ve been in this hole), including Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. I don’t get Bank holidays though.

Added into this is flexi time. Staff can take up to 2 days per month if they’ve worked up enough on their balance, which means the potential is for an extra 24 days per year. Technically this isn’t a paid holiday because it comes off what you have already worked, but psychologically it’s great. I can also carry some days forward from last year (5), so this year if I play my cards right, I’m looking at 62 days off.

And that’s not counting sick days.

One thing I will never do is stay in touch with the office constantly. It’s kind of expected of the management, but you’ll never catch me logging on to my email while I’m on the beach like some of them do.

I work to live – not live to work.

And one day soon, I can wave goodbye to this perk when the freelance life goes 100%. So you’ll all get the last laugh then.

Got through a load of things I’ve been putting off today: email, RR submissions and correspondence, couple of letters written, job board check, and the contracts and deposit came through for my new web client.

It doesn’t sound like much, but in my mind I cleared a lot of crap away.

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About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
This entry was posted in Day Job, Freelance, Publishing and Marketing, Reading, Scotland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Working To Live

  1. Lara says:

    I like that…”working to live!” I need to use that on my husband! He definitely lives to work–and on vacation, his blackberry is superglued to his hand.

    Well, THIS vacation it will be in his pocket at least!


  2. Michelle says:

    You’re absolutely right, Colin! Keep that chin up is key…but boy is it hard sometimes. 🙂

    Thanks for the linkage. hehe

  3. I’m horribly jealous of the time off — but only because it seems everywhere outside of the US, the attitude is that workers are more productive when they have lives, where here, although they promised us in the 1970s that we’d have huge amounts of leisure time by the turn of the twenty-first century, the only ones with leisure are the uber-rich, while everyone else works their duffs off to keep the uber-rich uber and rich.

    Regarding freelancing: the general rule of thumb is to expect your client list to turn over every six months. During the ultra-busy times is when it’s recommended you do even more pitching, because it’s usually feast or famine.

    So, some weeks you put in 90 hours, and then the next week, you put in two — but use the other 38 to cold-contact new clients.

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