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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Figment of my imagination

Maybe what I'm looking for does not exist anywhere outside of my imagination.

It would be grand to write prose for a parenting magazine on a regular basis. To get one or two assignments a month. I would research, report, and write five to 10 hours per week when my son is sleeping. It sounds so glorious that I need to come to terms with the fact that this notion 100 percent fiction. This job does not exist, especially for a reporter who never had a paying job covering parenting issues.

Freelance Writing Friend (FWF) stayed with us for 24 hours between her trips to the wine country and London, and before heading back to her home base in Washington, D.C. Her trip was mostly personal to see if she'd like to move back to the San Francisco Bay Area (duh) and to squeeze a few stories out so that said personal exploratory venture could also be a business trip. Or at least not a totally money losing venture.

While she was here, FWF checked her email no less than 12 times in that 24-hour period, signed up with a faxing service so that an editor could fax her a copy of the page her story will appear on in the magazine's next issue, so that she could read it over, talked to said editor while trying to get dressed and packed for next destination, made contacts at a couple Bay Area publications and emailed her resume and clips, exchanged email with a different editor regarding 2,200 word piece she recently turned in, searched local writing job-listings online, and was generally stressed out on how hard it is to be a freelance writer.

FWF to MIC: So what would your ideal job be.

MIC to FWF: Exactly like writing my blog, only I get paid.

FWF to MIC: How many hours do you blog a week?

MIC to FWF: About 15 hours (includes reading blogs, research, and writing)

FWF to MIC: That's about how much time I spend each week on proposals alone.

MIC to FWF: Gulp... (followed by long silence)

Because I don't *have* to work, but rather I want to work, I am going to be choosy. I'm not just going to go after projects that don't interest me, just to get a by-line. Maybe my inability to unwillingness to do that will prevent me from getting what I be a part-time writer, who also gets paid occasionally, who also gets to have a by-line, and subsequently gains enormous self-worth.

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