The line between freelancing and full-on unemployment can sometimes be blurry, especially when your profession is neither in high demand nor well-paid AKA you thought it was a smart idea to “do something creative”. Of course, there’s always the option of landing yourself a permanent job, complete with health care, a pension fund and an annual travelcard – but where’s the fun in that? Aren’t those moments of panic when your current balance hits the double digit zone also weirdly reassuring because you know that you can still feel something?
Every freelancer is familiar with the fine art of busy-bragging, a skill that comes in handy whenever you bump into friends, relatives or other judgemental folk. Typical conversations usually go like this:
“Oh hiiiii, how have you been? It’s been ages!!”
Oh god, not her again!
“I’ve been sooo busy babe, reeeeally busy. Lots of exciting new clients and I’m juggling wayyy too many exciting projects at once – but I’m not complaining. It’s better than not working, riiight? But enough about me! How are you??”
Half of these projects are pro bono and the other half probably won’t pay me until 2030 unless I sue the hell out of my clients... FML.
“Ah same! Busy busy busy! Gotta dash now actually because of, you know, work. Ahahaha!”
And when I say “work”, I mean chasing payments and begging the Finanzamt for another tax deferral. How does she do it, though? My inbox has never been so empty...
“Oh, me too. In fact, I don’t even have time for this convo. See you never I guess, because all I do is work work work. Rihanna’s got nothing on me. Bahahaha!”
I wish any of this was true.
“So jokes, I feel you! Good luck with all your exciting projects. Byeeee!”
Ugh, fuck you!
Is there anything that beats a dressing gown day? I didn’t think so either.
Spending an entire day in your robe is pure luxury. It’s a way of giving the establishment, convention and worldly responsibilities the middle finger. Daytime robe wearers exude a certain bohemian, otherworldly charm, a je n'ais se quoi only comparable to effortlessly chic French fashion bloggers – or at least that’s what I tell myself when I can’t be bothered to change into decent clothes and neighbours or delivery people catch me attired in a dressing gown at 4pm, which I accessorise with bed hair, red eyes and a slice of Dr Oetker pizza. Ho hum! Only god can judge me.
Unless they’re delivered by DHL, of course.
You won’t just receive some of your deliveries, you’ll also get all of your neighbours’ parcels, meaning you’ll finally get to know them. Yay!
When your current balance hits the double digit zone, you can do two things: A) go grocery shopping so you can stretch your limited budget, live frugally and hope to get paid at some point in the near future or B) burn everything as quickly as you can and see where the night takes you.
Creative at lying, that is – especially when it comes to paying you. While your non-freelance friends’ magically-improved mood signals you’re approaching the end of the month, you keep getting emails with messages along the lines of:
“Oh how bizarre, your invoice must have slipped through the system”
“We’ve changed our system, maybe that caused a delay”
“I can see that your invoice has been marked as paid – are you sure you didn’t get paid yet?”
“Are you sure you’ve already sent us the invoice?” (my personal favourite)
“We received your invoice but the PO number has changed, you’ll need to resend it”
“Oh, didn’t anyone tell you that we’ve got a payment period of 1095 days? Sorryyyy not sorry!”
Once again causing you to wonder why you ever thought that “doing something creative” for a living would be a good idea.
Just like Insecure’s mirror bitch, you too get to have conversations with the most inspiring person you know … yourself, especially when you work from home a lot. These conversations are a good thing because they keep your vocal cords in training. They also save you from having to clear your throat when someone unexpectedly calls you at 4pm.
You finally don’t have to answer to anyone, which more often than not means having to work late nights and on weekends because of your ridiculously poor time management skills and your now goldfish-like attention span. Silver lining: your meme collection is on point and you always know what’s talked about in The Shade Room.
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