I hate when I go a week without updating, and then I really hate having to apologize for going a week without updating, so maybe I will skip that and get straight to the explanation bit:
January kind of sucked.
It started with a massive ear nose and throat infection and ended with me getting laid off from my biggest freelance writing job. I’ve never liked January much and I thought it had to do with the freezing cold. Now I know it’s something much deeper.
Truthfully, I’ve had a couple of troubling setbacks in the last month or so. First Michelin abruptly dissolved our brand ambassador agreement. Apparently, they didn’t think I was speaking of them glowingly enough in my articles. It seems that my article on how NOT to use a guidebook really rubbed them the wrong way.
When I found out, I was pretty angry, I didn’t think I was being hired to blindly push product, I honestly thought they wanted thoughtful features. I merely wanted to explain the way to get the most out of your guidebook, but apparently I crossed the party line along the way. Apparently Michelin wasn’t looking for honesty, they wanted a corporate shill, which I refuse to be.
Honestly though, it was an important lesson on working with brands. Next time I will be much more cautious about who I agree to work with, and make sure that their product and their values align with mine.
The far more devastating setback happened last week, when I received news that Answers.com was terminating my contract early. This one was not my fault, they apparently laid off every single one of their expert authors in one fell swoop.
This was really disappointing and worrying. Not only did I really enjoy writing about US Travel for Answers, it has been one of my primary sources of income for the past 6 months. For the last few months I’ve actually felt pretty steady income-wise, but now I’m not so sure.
I wish I could say I bounced right back, but in reality the setbacks of the last couple months all compounded and left me staring helplessly at my computer screen. One of the things I love about freelancing is one of the same things that makes it really, super hard: the landscape is constantly changing. One day I’m offered a high paying assignment, the next day the company folds. It’s dizzying and frankly, a little exhausting.
So the last week or so I haven’t been writing much. I’ve been active, just instead of working I was watching entire tv seasons, cooking elaborate meals and sleeping in. The other day I stared at my computer screen for nearly two straight hours before I quit and decided to go to the beach and read instead. That’s the really hard thing about writing: if the motivation isn’t there, it just isn’t there and no amount of banging on my keyboard will bring it back.
Fortunately, I wasn’t just ignoring work, I was also thinking really hard about what I want to do next, and how I want my career to look going forward. I have a lot of ideas and plans. This is definitely going to be a pivotal year both in my life and the life of this blog.
Which is all a long way to say I’m not quitting, I’m transforming. As I alluded to in the past there are going to be some changes around here and it’s time to start rolling those out over the next couple of months. I hope you guys will stick around, and love the new plans.
More coming soon! For now it’s time to climb back on the writing horse and get back to work.