I've noticed an uptick in my freelance work.
Last week, I got 2 press release assignments (already written, but not yet distributed), along with a personal project from my client's admin assistant.
She wanted me to interview her best friend, who has stage 4 breast cancer, and write content for a website she wants to create to help raise funds to pay her friend's medical expenses. I interviewed the woman yesterday and she already signed off on the copy. She was very nice. She has two young sons.
I spent a fair amount of time thinking about how I would approach the interview and prepping for it. I usually do more business writing, and this required a sensitive approach. I ended up with 10 questions, none of which really focused on the details of the woman's cancer or treatment. Instead, I decided to focus on getting to know who the woman was as a person. What are her interests, how does she like to spend her time, what does she consider her life's greatest achievements? I wanted to portray a person who is not defined by her illness. I also asked her how her cancer had changed her priorities and the biggest ways it has changed her life.
It was a surprisingly uplifting conversation. Her two young boys are the center of her life. She talked about the circle of friends and loved ones who have supported her in many different ways. The biggest way her illness has affected her, she said, had to do with time. Doctor's visits and various treatments like chemo eat up much of her time, and when she's not at the doctor's, she's focused on getting enough rest and battling fatigue, so she has less time to dedicate to her family.
I wish I could do this job pro bono, but I really need the income. The subject of price never came up (she sees what I charge her boss, since I copy her on my invoices to him) so I guess she can't be that concerned with it, but I decided to build in a 25% discount anyway.
Then, yesterday, out of the blue, I got an email from an office sales manager at another big real estate company I used to do tons of work for. She really kept me busy, but then I got a perm job and had to tell her I couldn't do it anymore.
Anyway, she wants me to update her bio, and I'm really hoping that after several years' hiatus, more assignments from her will follow.
So 4 assignments this month so far, plus that focus group I did. It will add up to about $590; that's the kind of income I'd like to generate every month. (Did I tell you my COBRA premiums rose another $25 a month, to $468 now?)
The forecast calls for possible rain for part of each day during the coming week. I'm actually looking forward to it because it means I get a break from my twice daily watering of the grass seed I planted.
I went to see my neighbor yesterday who is still in rehab recovering from knee replacement surgery. Her biggest complaint is the bland food. She is diabetic, but I brought her three organic pears. She should be back home next week.
On the drive over to see her, I saw another neighbor walking his dog down our street, and I stopped to talk with him. He had told me a week earlier that his daughter had been killed in a car accident late last year. He is having a tough time dealing with it, but at least he is talking about it. Each time I've talked to him, he gets choked up pretty quickly. He said he was ready for the good Lord to take him, because he will never get over it.
I find it difficult to know what to say in these situations because i don't have children and i don't believe in God. Whatever I say will be inadequate, given what he's going through. I try to be a good listener. I suggested that maybe talking to a counselor might help him find new ways to cope with his grief. I also said that maybe just keeping busy and not allowing himself to get lost in his thoughts might be a good thing. He's a really nice guy. His daughter, in her early 20s, had been enjoying her first apartment on her own in Massachusetts.
A lot of people are hurting. Despite my messed up family background, I count my blessings. Both my parents are still alive and are an important part of my life. Aside from my MS, which is mostly manageable, I am very healthy. Perhaps a bit overweight, at 148 pounds. It costs nothing to offer a few words of encouragement or support to those who need it. Many have done this for me over the years, and I consider it an obligation and an honor to repay those kind acts.
Freelance Work, People in Need
I've noticed an uptick in my freelance work.