January 4, 2007
Freelancing & the Puppies at the Pound
It occurred to me, halfway through my Cheerios, that the puppy pound is am entirely apt metaphor for freelancers as a whole.
I mean here we all are at the pound... all trying to entice art directors or editors to notice us... and take us home to a cozy warm little book.
Some of us are just naturally charming... some have to impress the prospective owner with our ability to do tricks and roll over on command. Some of us are Noble and Heroic... some are Silly... but we're all basically kind of beggin' and at the mercy of the whims of our prospective owners.
Wooof! Look at me! I can do a backflip...
Wooof! Look at me! I have a shiny red collar and cute pink nose
Wooof! Look at me! I have a cute ear that flops over my eyes and I'm really nice
We mail out cards with our pictures... we take out ads in expensive datebooks with more of our pictures. Hoping all the while that someone will fall in love with the shine on our nose and take mercy on us and invite us into their nice warm kitchen. That's where we've heard we might expect bowls full of canned food and our own special doggy bed and we get to lick every nose in sight... and get taken to the park twice a day.
So every now and then a publisher might pick us out from the pound and take us home for a few months... just till the book is done. But then we most always have to go back... back to the puppy pound... back barking along with the rest of the pack. But thankfully there is a white truck that pulls up with bags full of educational kibbles and magazine kibbles and other kibbles that get poured into trays and pushed under the door every now and then.
Or... the sly pound puppy can sneak out of the pound altogether... and sneak along the avenues to find a home of their own... by writing their own book and drawing pictures for their own stories. That's what every pound puppy always wanted in the first place anyhow... a home of their own as an artist and not just beggin' for scraps.