Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It never rains...

...but it pours. That's what they say about freelance journalism and I'm currently experiencing a dry spell.
From actually considering turning down work just a week ago (of course I didn't), to firing off pitches like a Ritallin-induced paint-baller, I have officially experienced the fearful, changing seasons of freelance life.
For now, it seems like a right of passage. I'm living the life I've heard so much about, and that includes spending time in the trenches. My rent is cheap, my needs simple. The library, I'm finding, is a great place to escape the walls of a home office...though now that the main branch has wireless I'm sure it will become a second place of work.
But I am wondering how long I should roam this assignment-less desert, waiting for an oasis of satisfying, well-paying features to show up. Is a mirage (read: blog) enough to sustain me another few weeks?
Could it be that the entire magazine world is on hiatus? Perhaps adjusting to the onset of spring and simply going through their spring wardrobe?

I can help! I know the colour wheel off by heart! And I know both American and Canadian spellings of words like colour (color)!

Sigh. Patience, D, patience.

From my beloved library I found 'Steering the Craft,' by Ursula K. Le Guin. In it she emphasizes the need to work the words -- that writing may be a gift, but we need to work the craft of it, so that we can deserve it.
"There's luck in art. There's the gift. You can't earn that. You can't deserve it. But you can learn skill, you can earn it. You can learn to deserve your gift."
--Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft.

With that, I take a new outlook on my days devoid of deadlines. Rather than a desert, I'll see it as a chance to explore new waters, to play in the boat that carries me though life.
And as I look back to my last entry, where I questioned the place of writing in my life -- and wondered if I was giving it adequate room to roam -- I feel blind to what the world is trying to tell me.
Just write.

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