In Case You Were Wondering (Though You Weren’t)

February 28th, 2010 § 5 comments § permalink

Sometimes people ask me: what do you do all day long as a freelancer?

Actually, no one ever asks me that, though I wish the cute girl at the far end of the bar would. (The universal, hypothetical cute girl, of course—a figure more rhetorical than gorgeous, made less for romance than the purposes of argument—in the bar I rarely actually go out to.) Most people hear I’m a freelancer and, aside from the standard envious comment about how nice it must be to work from home, are generally content to leave it at that. On the rare occasion when they do press further, I unfailingly find whatever account of I give of how I spend my time comes out sounding inadequate, much as ledgers fudged to hide fraud look in a court of law.

Which is not to say I haven’t clear memories of fiendishly productive days as a freelancer, days best characterized by dispatch and alacrity, in which tasks were no sooner started than successfully wrapped up, but that any honest appraisal sees these days for the exception they are, rather than the rule I wish they were.

Such that the question of how I spend my days is, really, the kind of question I’m always asking myself, from the moment I, an esprit descending an escalier, leave the bar, to those moments between tasks when hands stop their puttering and a space suddenly opens for reflection on action (“What am I doing?”). It is the kind of question a perennially guilty conscience, wishing to dispel the misplaced envy of people convinced freelancing is a breeze, is always putting to me (“No, you see, but it’s really—”). It is the kind of question that hits you when, leaning back in your chair for a stretch and a yawn, you see dusk has crept up on you already, and the impression of not having done a thing truly useful and fulfilling is as certain as the impression of having been busy every minute: for where, where has the day gone? » Read the rest of this entry «

Where am I?

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