October 5, 2007

You don't even have a real job!

You don't even have a real job!

I've often had that sentiment rattling round about me.

"Are you still doing children's books?", the neighbors always seem to ask, as if somehow I'd gone into selling insurance or designing submarines. "We hardly ever see the FedEx truck anymore", they say.
"Oh, I send all my sketches in online now", I try to explain.

And then there are looks from the checkers at the supermarket at 10 am when all I have is a chocolate bar, a box of tea and a bottle of golden sherry in the basket. "I was really just out for a walk. The chocolate bar & tea aren't for me"... I think out loud mentally. But still there's that look.

And of course there's the spouse who's certain I just spend all day playing around on the computer.

You don't even have a real job!
That's the feeling I think the freelancer is often up against. We know, of course this is far from true.

I would wager, in fact, that just drawing for hours on end might well be as challenging as digging ditches... or rowing across a channel in a large boat in heavy seas. At least it can sometimes feel about like that. And the measure of one's workday progress is plain to see in sheets of paper filled with lines and color or pixels.

So it's nice when the phone rings and my spouse picks it up and it's some big-wig art director or editor from New York City. That always makes a good impression to remind everyone that in fact, yes... I really actually DO have a real job!


Christiane said...

Ha! I love the FedEx truck comment!;0)
Sometimes these people make me believe that I don't have a proper job...not fair cause I know for a fact that most people in a 9-5 office job play around on the internet 70% of the time...;o)

John Nez said...

That's true... but I guess it never occured to me. Now I feel better...


Paula Pertile said...

Well FedEx came to my house yesterday and delivered 4 BIG boxes, so the neighbors should be satisfied that something work-like is going on over here! (That balances out the afternoons I have my after lunch coffee on the front porch and knit. No, not in a rocker.)

Anonymous said...

Hi John! This is one thing that will drive me crazy! I've actually gotten,"...well, my wife and I work and you don't do anything but sit and draw and paint all day. You don't have a real job so I need you to..."(here's where you fill in the blank as to what favour needs to be done) and guess what...this quote comes from my own brother!I've also had people think you just sit down and draw something and poof,it's finished in 5 minutes,therefore, it isn't really a job. I could go on and on, but I won't. Thanks for the post John so I could let a little frustration out. (LOL)

PG said...

I hear ya! And isn't it the truth! I gave up a long time ago trying to convince my other half that I do at times work for my money, he only seems to realise it when a cheque arrives in the post - but I still can't get him to make the magic connection between that and what I do all day when he is at his 'proper job'.

Sam said...

Well, my husband is a polo player - do you think people believe he has a real job? LOL!