One of my favorite writing mentors, Angela Hoy (she of WritersWeekly.com fame), wrote an exasperated intro to this week’s newsletter. Dear Angela is apparently inundated with query letters proposing articles around the subject of “How To Survive the Economy.”
I agree with her insistence that the recession shouldn’t be used as an excuse for freelance writers to throw up their hands and surrender to the relentlessly depressing news no CNBC. (Not that there’s anything wrong with CNBC. It’s an oddly invigorating network to watch first thing in the morning, with or without coffee.) I’ve found that I’m actually making more money from one particular publication I’ve worked with in the past. They’ve let go of a number of staffers and are now relying more on freelancers, and since I’ve been one of their most reliable ones, I’m at the top of their list of go-to folks for when they need a piece.
I’m worried about the economy myself, and even more so whenever I open up the employment ads in the newspaper and notice…nothing. The Free Press actually had just two job listings just the other day. If my freelancing collapses altogether (God forbid), I don’t have the luxury of falling back into a 9-5 cube job to take up the slack, as I did even just last year. Two years ago I sent my resume to a local company and received a request for an interview within two hours. Obviously, times have changed.
Still, I refuse to be worried. I’ve been accused of being too optimistic in the past, but I think this is a case where I just can’t worry about things I can’t control, i.e., the overall economy. I can, however, work on things that are under my control, including my business. I’ve several business ideas I want to roll out and try over the next six months, and while I may have to do some old-fashioned bootstrapping in order to do many of them, that’s okay with me. I have one eye firmly fixed on the post-recession era, when people will be breathing easier and are looking for businesses to meet their pent-up demands for services and information. It may take awhile to get there (I’ve heard estimates of anywhere from a year to five from analysts trying to predict when the economy will finally hit bottom and start its long, slow climb back up again.), but I’ll use that time to my advantage and really work on the business so that I’ll be ready.