17 February, 2012
Remember, when you were a kid, how you used to race your bike as fast as it would go along the sidewalk? Now, remember how, at the epic moment of reaching your top speed, you'd hit that one lousy crack in the cement and be launched over the handlebars as you screamed for mercy from the burn part of a crash-and-burn? Yeah, I never had the chance to scream. I was always too busy wishing for a fairy to appear and grant me flying powers before I could hit the ground.
Today, I kind of feel like I'm back on that sidewalk, flying over the handlebars. Only this time, I'm screaming for all I'm worth.
I began my career as a full-time freelance writer back in October. Cold turkey. I know, I know, the experts say not to do that, but I decided to take my life in my hands and race down the sidewalk of self-employment with nothing but a flimsy frame to support me.
Oddly enough, it worked. I went to a few bidding sites (not knowing where else to start) and found work almost immediately. I received and completed over 20 jobs (some of them repeat business) before I went on my Christmas break. Sure, I wasn't making fistfuls of money but it was enough to get me by while I searched for ways to keep expanding.
I came back from my Christmas break with multiple books from experienced freelancers, sites galore full of tips and tricks and how-to's, and a plan to get my name out there. But...no jobs. Plenty that fit my expertise and plenty that I've applied to, but no one returns my calls now, so to speak. The few jobs I have gotten have been limited and pay little.
I have a website, simple but there for my platform. I've been networking on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I'm on five bidding sites and scour outside ads every day.
I don't know what happened or why it turned so suddenly. So, I'm turning to other freelancers for help. I need your advice. Have you ever been here? Why is it happening? Did my Christmas break do me in or is the time of year? Does freelancing even have "seasons?" How did you peel yourself off the sidewalk and make it back to safety without bleeding out first?
I could definitely use the assistance. Because I'm flying through the air and screaming my lungs out and there's no pixie dust to save me.