The Curse Of The Freelancer

Do you know Skip?

That’s okay. If you’re a freelancer, he knows you:

From Skip’s Acorn Treasury

haversThe freelancer’s curse is sending politely chasing emails. You know – when someone approaches you to do something, and at first it’s all “GO! GO! GO!” and then fizzles sadly out. Like an amazing one-night stand. Only, after a one-night stand, we all know the rules – you send a couple of follow up texts, cry and then move on.

With freelance projects, that’s not what you do. The correct etiquette is to regularly stand outside your potential employer’s window at 4am with a Mariachi band playing Mandy. At least once a week you have to send them the awful “Hey, any news?” email. And they have to send you the “No, sadly. Will keep you posted!” reply. It’s sadly pointless on both sides. But them’s the rules.

As my mother put it: “I don’t understand. They’ll get in touch at the last minute if they want it.” My mother, please note, has never worked in the media. And Yet She Knows All.

Just for once, it’d be nice to say: “Hello! You know that project you said was definite a month ago, and that I should clear my schedule for? Well, I did. And since then, you know, I’ve heard nothing much from you. I get it. I know you’re busy. I know it’s probably not happening after all. But that’s okay. I’ve got other work coming in. I’ll be fine.It would have been lovely to do. More than lovely – amazing. But, these things happen. So just fire me and I can stop worrying about letting you down when it’s suddenly all back on again.”

But no. Instead, here I am about to type: “Hey there… any news?”