The diary of a freelancer: The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my decision to leave full-time employment and venture forth into the hostile, bitter wilderness of freelance journalism. The article was well-received – shucks, you are all far too kind – and some of you even asked if I would continue writing about my experiences going forward, creating, in effect, a freelance diary.

Because I’d hate to let the side down, and, more importantly, because I love the sound of my own voice, I’ve decided to take your advice onboard and carry on documenting the perpetual shitstorm that is my life as a freelancer.

Will I live to regret the decision to be stupidly honest about my experiences? Probably. Let’s not worry about that right now, though. Instead, let’s pick up where we left off last time.

What a difference a day makes

Two weeks ago, everything was coming up Milhouse Kerr. Pitches were being accepted left, right, and centre, I had some promising gigs lined up that would’ve given me a regular source of income, and, for one reason or another, I found myself feeling optimistic about my freelancing opportunities for the first time in, well, ever.

Of course, being the meandering pessimist I am, I was aware that the wave of goodwill probably wouldn’t last. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the way in which my teeth were about to be metaphorically kicked in.

Almost overnight, the responses slowed down, my inbox remained a barren wasteland, and any momentum that I had was snatched away from me by the cruel hands of fate. The first downward spiral had begun.

What followed were 14 agonisingly long days of radio silence. I struggled to get in touch with those I’d been in regular contact with, traffic started to slow on Side One, making me question whether all the hours I’ve sunk into the project had been in vain, and a lot my pitches started to be ignored – that’s the polite way of saying they were being flat-out rejected.

Yeah. It’s been bleak.

Visual representation of my inbox.

Honestly, the spiral hasn’t abated. I’m sat here writing this article in a frustrated, coffee-addled frenzy after a fortnight that can only accurately be described as a train wreck from start to finish. Still, the cycle will end, and it’s at times like these, when it seems like every atom in the universe is conspiring against you, that you have to try, difficult as is it, to cherish the little victorys.

Gamerbake planning is going well – Gamerbake? Oh, it’s only the best goddamn gaming event in the world – I’ve got some exciting interviews lined up later this month, and, touch wood, I’m still making enough money to pay what little bills I have and save up bit by bit.

You know the saying, ‘reality bites’? Well, I’m starting to realise exactly why that’s a thing. With that in mind, the only thing left to do is heed the words of forgotten pop heroes, Yazz & The Plastic Population, and remember: the only way is up, baby!

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