The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Thursday, January 30, 2020

A long January

I always knew that the year was going to get off to a bit of a slow start. I finished one piece of work over Christmas and the next thing wasn't due to start until mid-January. It wasn't quite when I'd choose to have a gap in my schedule, but I planned to make the most of the free week or so with a few nice bits and pieces - some walking on the coast, a wildlife photography workshop and a few coffees and catch-ups with pals.

Photo of the sea from clifftop at Old Harry Rocks, Studland, UK

A black and white avocet, taken at Slimbridge, UK

Then I heard that the project I was expecting to start on had been delayed until the start of February 😕 The prospect of a whole month with no work (and no income!) wasn't great so I started putting out feelers, I updated LinkedIn, advertised my availability via English Publishing Professionals and sent a few emails to contacts. I couldn't afford to keep treating myself to days out, so I decided to use the time productively. I wrote a few blog posts, submitted a couple of conference proposals, watched some webinars, read lots and generally schmoozed social media. 

All of which was fine for a while, but gradually as the grey, unstructured days took their toll, the anxiety grew and my motivation levels sank. 

On Monday this week, I chased up the delayed project to check we were still on to start next week .... "Erm, well, it might be more like 10 Feb" came the response ... Still anxious but kind of resigned, I bought some matchpots and planned to paint the front room ...

Image of four small paint tins

This morning, a possible fill-in bit of work got confirmed. Hooray!! I happily downloaded all the relevant documents and printed out the brief. Then ping, ping, ping .... a flurry of emails arrived to say that not only was the delayed project ready to get started right away, but there were two levels (of the same project but being dealt with by different in-house editors) queued up for me!

After a bit of emailing to and fro, I've managed to agree dates to spread it all out a bit and I'm feeling much happier at the prospect of having some work (and income) over the next few months. But y'know, it seemed a good topic for a blog post ... and I'd already got a walk planned in for this afternoon ... and those walls aren't going to paint themselves!

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