Being back in the small town where I graduated college, I get a lot of weird looks. A lot of, "I didn't see you at all last semester! When do you graduate?", "How long are you visiting?" I hear there are a lot of rumors flying around as to why I'm here and no one really knows how to answer the question.
So here's the deal: I'm a writer. That's the easy answer I tell people to give.
More accurately, I'm a freelance writer/editor. That means companies need something written (a press release, an article, an interview transcript, a business profile, whatever), so they call me and say, "Hey can you write this?" I say yes. They say they want it yesterday. So I do what needs to be done, go back in time, and send it to them. They send me a paycheck.
At least that's how it's supposed to work. How it really works is that I spent umpteen hours praying for jobs and reloading my email. As a freelance writer, you are always looking for work. It's not something I want to do forever but until a full time job lands on my plate, it will be a step closer to paying bills.
Here's the catch: I don't make enough to cover rent, food, coffee, et al. I've cut every superfluous expense that I can (ie cable, internet, etc.) without freezing to death and living on peanut butter and jelly. I've gotten really good at mooching. And praying for bread. God provides. I haven't gone hungry yet.
It means there are weeks when I sit around reading all day because I have no work and there are weeks when I run around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Since I don't have internet at home, the coffee shop has become my office. I spend about four to five hours here a day. I welcome distractions and conversations but some days I really am trying to get something done in a crunch. I share my office with three pastors, an evangelist, some other professionals, and a whole lot of students. Some days I also share my office with a jazz band. There was a mic check happening on my desk yesterday. Stage lights are bright when you're trying to type.
And, no, I don't work in my pajamas. Yes, I do dress up for phone interviews. No, I don't get paid just to hang out. I am always "on-call." I do work on the weekends, late at night, and whenever else jobs (paid and unpaid) appear.
PS: If you're going to call me "Freelance Writer Katie" don't shorten it to "FWK" like one of the pastors I share my office with tried to do.