17 February 2009

Fickle clients

So, last month my most regular copy-editing client and provider of my core income dropped me with virtually no warning. To say I was shocked was an understatement as I'd considered this particular client to be recession-proof.

And, indeed, as it turned out, my being dropped had nothing to do with the recession. Or not much anyway, although it's fair to say they probably found it cheaper to muddle on in-house instead of paying me as I'm overseas to them and thus comparatively expensive.

I immediately set about plugging the gap by finding other work. I've been fortunate to be offered quite a bit of corporate writing work lately, largely unsolicited but some I have actively chased.

And whaddyaknow! No sooner do I fill up my days with other work than my ex-client comes crawling back to me to offer me more work. My initial feeling was to reject it but I doubt any of us can afford to be so fey right now. So I expressed cautious interest - this is not my old work but a new job entirely that will also be daily. The downside is that the original daily work only required me to be at the PC between 7 and 9 in the morning. The new job will oblige me to be available at a whim between 8 and 3, thus tying me to my desk for many more hours a day on the offchance that I might get sent work. This is going to have a severe impact on my other work activities, including limiting my options to go out, either for a break or to meet interviewees/colleagues/potential new clients.

Decisions, decisions...

I've agreed to do a trial day tomorrow. And then I'll see. I admit to being wary - if they can drop me once, they can drop me again and I don't like being mucked around. On the other hand, it's regular work that will pay my monthly bills again. Not an easy choice - I don't want to be motivated purely by money and yet I need to eat and keep a roof over my head.

I shall report back later in the week.


Anne Brooke said...

Hope it goes okay!


Grumpy Old Ken said...

Came across your blog lord knows where. Am very unsure as to exactly how you make your living (call me thick) but interesting all the same. Always wanted to be a journalist when I was young. Good luck.

Unknown said...

Hello Ken, good to hear from you. I used to earn my living exclusively from journalism. These days, I'm freelance and combine a bit of journalism with a lot of copy-editing and the occasional dabble with corporate writing. It's very hard at the moment to earn a decent living solely from journalism, especially as the newspaper industry is going through a serious crisis just now. Having the other income streams helps keep me afloat.