Sunday, January 12, 2014

Busy Again

Some days doing freelance work are busier than others.  The deadlines for the publications I write for are invariably the middle of the month.  Last month I did six freelance assignments and turned down a seventh as I didn't think I could finish it on time due to other commitments.

This month I've had only two.  But the second one came very fast.

I thought I was going to only have one assignment and I sent it in Thursday the 9th (they prefer to get them before the 10th but will take them as late as the 15th).  Then I get an email back to do another one by the 15th.  I agreed but was very worried about getting it done on time.  It usually takes a couple of weekdays to get a hold of people and sometimes longer if they are reluctant (I had one person I interview tell me I was "very persistent" after I called him twice a day for a week).

And, I didn't have a number for the subject, I just had the number of his business that I got off the internet.  So Thursday (the day I got the assignment) I called the business and think I got lucky.  I didn't get the receptionist but someone named Jeff.  I explained the situation and he said he'd put me through to the subject's voicemail but I should call back Monday why the daughter of the subject would be in as she would probably get him to cooperate.  So I made that my plan but left a voicemail for the subject anyway.

He called back a few hours later.  I almost fainted.  They never call back.  Well, almost never.  We arranged for an interview on Friday at 10:00 A.M. and I asked if it was possible could his wife be there.  He said he'd try.

But he is in Walla Walla, Washington, a nice town about 120 miles away.  Most of the road, however, is 2-lane with a 60 mph speed limit so it's not a fast trip (my car's navigation system predicted almost 2.5 hours but I did it in about an hour and 40 minutes).  There is about a 20-mile 4-lane section with a 75 mph speed limit and that helps.  I decided to leave at 7:30 A.M. to assure we get there on time ("we" being my wife who takes pictures and me).

My local Toastmasters club, of which I am the Vice-President of Education, is having a public speaking class starting tomorrow and we've been advertising and promoting it.  About the time I pull into Walla Walla my phone starts ringing.  It's someone wanting to sign up.

We do the interview and I have to turn off the ringer on my phone because it keeps ringing and I keep getting emails.  The interview and taking pictures takes about two hours.  Then I sat in a conference room at the business and checked my voicemails and emails and found out how much work I had to do when I got home (one call was another Toastmasters signup the other was health insurance related).

Went to lunch at a place we like in downtown Walla Walla.  Unfortunately, my car was filthy from the wet roads.  I wanted to wash it before we drove back (there's a wonderful hand-wash car wash in Walla Walla) but my wife had to get back for some volunteer work she does.

I get home and deal with invoices, emails, Toastmasters, pictures for the article from the subject.  Finally about 5:30 P.M. I call it quits for the day, thinking a 10 hour day was long enough.

I got up the next morning (Saturday) and started writing the story.  Did the first draft in an hour or so.  Read it again later (after the Seahawks beat New Orleans) and then read and edited it again this morning.  I might get this in on Monday, two weekdays after it was assigned.

When I left the corporate world it was, in part, to avoid 50-60 hours work weeks.  Now I'm working maybe 20 - 40 hours a month (paid work, if you add in all the book promotion/blogging/etc. I do, it's probably close to 20 or 30 hours a week).  But busy days like Friday are fun if not exhausting.

And it's a good thing I like to drive.

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