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Confessions of a Freelancer
Sometimes I envy people with steady jobs.
They go to familiar cubicles, surrounded by pictures of their loved ones, and sip coffee out of their favorite mugs. They don’t have to stress about where their next gig is going to come from. They can simply focus on the job at hand. There is a clear demarcation between work and home. And the weekends are for them to explore.
Every month there is a pay cheque waiting for you in a white envelope, sometimes brown. You can “afford” to notice its color.
I interviewed for a gig today, but I don’t think it went well. It’s not always easy finding work when you are freelancing.
I reached the office barely two minutes before, fixed my hair, pursed my lips and stepped in. Only to be confronted by my client who by looking at his room and his toy collection was what I call a Man-child.
He knew exactly what he wanted and every time I tried giving him an idea, he either spaced out marveling at his toy collection or played with his ipad. He expected me to take his brief with zero contribution from my side and come up with a layout for him.
That was acceptable. But what really took the cake was this: just as I was about to talk of my remuneration, he rushed me out. He claimed to have another appointment. He added that he wanted to test me first: “let’s see your samples and we’ll discuss your compensation based on your competence.”
That’s the danger with freelancing. You run the risk of putting your ideas out there, getting robbed and never seeing a penny at the end of the day. But one has to try and be optimistic, block out all that negative traffic from one’s mind that could so easily get you in a jam.
As I headed back home, the day didn’t get any better. My rickshaw cocked and I stood on the street trying to get another. Minutes later I decided to just walk home.
Then there was an urge to have some coconut milk and I decided to answer it. The only chance of finding a coconut vendor was a five-minute walk to the beach.
It doesn’t always help that the beach is mostly crowded here in Mumbai. Amongst the hoards of people around sometimes your loneliness gets amplified. Then a woofing three-legged dog passes by. He doesn’t feel he’s any different just because he’s missing a limb.
One look at the vast sea before you and you realize there’s a lot to be thankful for. You have the air in your lungs and a beautiful sunset. So what if it’s against a polluted skyline, it’s still beautiful.
The realization, that I can mould my life any way I want. Just that possibility, just knowing it, is enough to set you free. Free to be a slave to a day job or free to go on another freelancing adventure.
Guide for Freelancing
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