March 24, 2006

Suddenly It All Makes Sense

I've been out of commission for a week, with a dreaded 'Error 13' message on my Mac. Believe me... you don't want to EVER see that dreaded 'Error 13' message. It really made me realize how CRUCIAL the computer is anymore. The computer started out as sort of a convenience... but now it's CRITICAL. It's like I'm out of business when the machine goes down.

Ten years ago I didn't even know what any of these things were... E-mail, PDFs, jpegs, Photoshop, scanners, the wacom, inkjet printers, Google!, InDesign, GoLive... websites, blogs. But now I wouldn't want to think about working without them.

Live by the computer, die by the computer... that must be the rule.

Meanwhile the freelancing drama continues on... intriguing, infuriating, impossible, wonderful, miserable, hopeful, exciting. I don't imagine anyone ever gets a handle on it altogether. The saving grace I think is that one never knows what's going to happen tomorrow.

Yet, I remember the day it all became clear to me... an insightful realization as to why freelancing is different from so many other callings.

As a freelancer, there's just one person... us, to be held accountable without any excuses. Just imagine how much easier would our lives as freelancers be if we too could deliver lines like:

"Oh, the head of the Pencil Department is away at conference, he'll have the pencil sketches when he gets back"
"The head of the Finish Art Department needs another 6 weeks. Someone down in paint screwed up ordering the new paints."
"The Director of Revisions is away on vacation. I can't do those requested changes till the end of the month... sorry!"
"The Deadline Director is only in every other Thursday... so I won't be able to get back to you on that deadline date for at least 2 weeks"

Suddenly it all makes sense...