RE: Losing my profession?

Subject: RE: Losing my profession?
From: "John Locke" <mail -at- freelock -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 08:39:08 -0700

Anonymous writes,

> As a writer trying to make a living, however, I think that I have lost
> my profession. After the end of ten years, I never want to see another
> cube farm again, never want to listen to someone drone on about how this
> new system is revolutionary, and especially never want to hear again
> that I am a cost the company can live without. I wonder if others on the
> list, particularly those of you who have been around for a while, are
> experiencing the same thing.
And lots of other people had some great advice... I heartily endorse taking
some time off, and traveling somewhere... for a few months. It's hard to
feel sorry for yourself when you see how much of the rest of the world

My girlfriend and I spent a month last year bicycling around China... if I
don't get overseas on some extended trip every four years or so I start
getting cranky. Take a break!

But, my suggestion, after your break, is to consider working for yourself.
I've been freelancing for 6 years now, and doing it full time for a year and
a half. Yeah, it's even more unstable than what you've described, but I
think it's much more satisfying, too. You can choose whatever type of
project you want, and any seven days of the week to work! (just kidding...)
You don't have to do technical work, though it's still the best paying
writing I've found...

I would sit back a while and reflect on the source of your dissatisfaction.
Is it the unstable nature of the work, or the sense of being an unimportant
part of the process? If you can handle instability, give it a try.

Don't expect it to be easy, though... Of the 6 years I've been freelancing,
this is the third time I've tried to go full-time, and I finally seem to
have the clients and steady work to make it go, at least so far. But you can
always take another contract... or (sigh) job...

Regardless of whether you go freelance or not, the point I'm making is that
being in control of your destiny can greatly improve your outlook on life...
Whether you have a regular employer or not, it's your life, it's your
career, no matter how many guidance counselors they toss at you. Take a
break, then make a choice! If you don't like it, you can always make

Sorry for rambling, but I only had 4 hours of sleep this morning... back to
work, me.

--John Locke


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