Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trust, again

The New York Times had an article this morning headlined "How to Hide $400 Million." I didn't read it. I don't have such problems. If I did, I might be lounging in the shade of that patio in the picture, breathing in the salty blue air.

I do have work, though, and it just kicked into high gear because the book contract I've been anticipating for months came through yesterday. At this moment, I'm in the middle of editing a manuscript that has been going very slowly, and now I need to press hard to finish it so I can give my full attention to the book proposal. I am also meeting with an inspirational author to discuss the possibility of doing some editing for her. I hope it works out. I like her message a lot. Every freelancer's dilemma is figuring out how much to take on at a time, so that all assignments can be properly completed. It's a fine balance, because the temptation is to say yes to everything, given the need to cover one's share of the monthly expenses in a city that is spectacularly expensive to live in.

Can I just admit (as I have admitted before) that I flat out envy (and also admire) the ones who are able to regularly snag the big book collaboration deals. It's no accident that they are so sought after; they commit themselves to preparing the way; they actively network and pursue the work; they embody the maxim that luck favors the prepared. In contrast, my freelancing life feels very catch as catch can, as if I need to say yes to everything because I don't know when the next opportunity will show up. I am trying to balance it all, because more than anything, if I say yes to a job, I mean to do it well. It all comes back to trust. Trust in myself. Trust that it's worked out so far, and will continue to do so. Just because I can't see down the road doesn't mean the road isn't there.

Outside my window, the leaves are a brilliant backlit gold swaying languidly after two full days of driving rain. The rain made the house feel cozy and hidden away. The last of my Thanksgiving houseguests left yesterday. Now I am alone again, my husband, son and daughter all gone to their workplaces. I need to remember how lucky I am that this place, right here, with that golden light in front of me, is mine.


  1. There is such warmth radiating from your blog -- your photos, your tone, your accessibility. This post really resonated with me today as I am also negotiating some freelance writing work. Thank you for putting it out there, wise woman.

  2. Feast or famine is a hard way to make a living, and yet ... you are not on the corporate treadmill, which is probably one of the good things about your work. It's so good that you are in feast mode at the moment. Your clients chose well.

  3. Lovely post today. I agree with Elizabeth about the warmth radiating.

  4. There was something unusual about that article describing how the super rich hide their wealth; it was hard to follow the technical details, but what a different world that is, and how loathsome the mores of that couple!

    Your reminder of the advantages of being prepared, whatever that may mean in various contexts (Tom Lehrer is playing in my head as I type that, but still...) is appreciated. An admirable, and yes, enviable form of being awake.

  5. How to hide $400 million??? Goodness! I'd ask myself how I could spend $400 million, then set about sharing the wealth in ways that would benefit as many is possible. Young people and the elderly would be the primary beneficiaries. I'd support young artists too because the world needs literature, music, art . . . as well as food and shelter.

    Your photographs are rich--like watercolors. Your words are seeds strewn on a winding path that leads us to a solitary bench set beneath the spreading branches of Thought.


  6. My love- my brain is too cooked to do justice to this post. All I can say is that ever since you've been away from your corporate job you've had constant work. And it has been GOOD work and you have done it so well that more work will fall your way. I don't think you need to worry so much. Just keep doing exactly what it is you're doing. You're right- the road is there, even if you can't see it. I love you.

  7. Just sent this post to my husband, the freelance director of photography. You're right, it's all about trusting that the road is there, even if you can't see it. I'm trying hard to do the same! That cliche'd Irish Blessing keeps popping into my head --

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    (especially the "road rising up to meet you" bit. One foot in front of the other, every single moment.)

    I love reading your words. I love your spirit. You make me want to write again, and I've been dry as a bone inspiration wise since finishing school this May. So thank you.

  8. Snuggly golden light is a wonderful thing, as are you :o) Hugs.

  9. I am so impressed with your freelancing career! You've really kept it thriving, and that's a hard thing to do! I was put off even trying to freelance, knowing that so much of the job was merely going to be finding the next project. So I salute you.

    As for that Times article about the $400 million -- for what it's worth, it's FASCINATING. It made me so happy that I am not wealthy. It sounds like a miserable life, at least for the family portrayed. I can't imagine investing so much effort in deception and greed.

  10. That's a pretty tree right outside your window! It's seems to me that your career, on your own terms has served you well. Like you said, just because you don't see the road ahead of you doesn't mean it's no there.... best wishes to you!!!

  11. I agree with Steve Reed that the article about the $400M was FASCINATING. It was a primer in how the super rich are making their money disappear from view so they don't have to pay taxes.

    So glad that your big book project came through! Now you have a veritable wealth of work.