What a Difference a Week Makes

This time, last week, I was sitting in a Starbucks sweating bullets. I had, what else, but a deadline looming. Not one deadline but two for that day and one, probably two for the next day. As I sat down at the Starbucks that night, staring blankly ahead, I was stressed. And I was facing an equation that wouldn’t compute.

1 person + 2 hour time span + 3 projects to do = [insert Munch’s The Scream].

But, time it does change. Is that the expression? I don’t know exactly. I do know that this week I am sitting in the same Starbucks at the same table and I have no pressing deadlines looming. Nada. Nyet. Nothing. Oh, I have deadlines, but not the “I have to write like a mad man to get everything done!”

So, tonight I can stop and smell the roses…or at least the coffee. As I sip, my Skinny Venti Latte I can enjoy my surroundings. I can relax. Take a breath.

By the way, how’s this for awesome? The lady at the table next to me was just proposed to by her boyfriend. How romantic! And if I had been sitting here a few weeks ago I would have been so engrossed in my work that I would have glanced up and then looked back down again. No time to enjoy the moment, I have deadlines!

The blogging world is always a’ changing isn’t it? One minute you have x amount to do, and the next minute you have y. x may equal y in terms of amount. Or x may be a ridiculously high amount of work compared to y. But, don’t rely on x or y exclusively. Work can disappear in a twinkling of the eye.

In the days when I worked in publishing, one of my tasks was to assign work to a network of freelancers. We had copyeditors, proofreaders, and indexers. Many had previously worked for my company. Others sent in resumes or took the copyediting test. Some stayed the course. Others were super picky and would only take jobs that paid a lot of money. Some would not take a rush job for all the tea in China. Others loved rush jobs.

On more than one occasion I had to call a freelancer to tell of a book that had been promised to them, but had been scrapped. I hated making those phone calls. Oh, and yes I picked up the phone and called the freelancer. No internet back then. Well, there was internet, but only a handful of people in the office had access to the modem. The internet was horribly unreliable. And, email wouldn’t show up for a few more years. So, it was me with my thumbed through printout of freelancers making the calls. They were always super nice when I called. I knew that they could sense that I was embarrassed to call them.

Blogging is not a million miles away from freelancing. We bloggers wait around for someone to email us with work. Or we pound the virtual sidewalk looking for work. But, there is an unpredictability to it all. You never know when you’re going to get that call that the project is over or the project won’t start as planned or the project is going in another direction. Whatever way you slice it, you are left high and dry.

In times of work drought, I wonder if I would be better off working for someone else. And that someone else would procure all work for me. My role? To do the work. I’ll tell you that scouring for work is not for the faint of heart. I’ve had more rejection in the last few years than in my entire career. The funny thing is that I’m not hurt or upset when I don’t get a job or an assignment. I roll with it. Why? Well, most of the time when I don’t get the job it is because my blog traffic isn’t high enough. If I’m rejected due to blog traffic, well, I don’t take it personally. Rejection on grounds of traffic is a part of blogging.

What is your best tip for increasing the traffic to your blog?

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