They say when it rains, it pours. And whoever “they” are…they know my life pretty well.
Freelancers often never know what their days are going to look like. Will I have several gigs, a few gigs, none?
Being a freelancer as well as a stay-at-home parent, this is doubly true. With the responsibilities of parenting compounded by the responsibilities of my work, I really never know how busy I’m going to be one day to the next. Some days are slower than others; it’s the way my world works. A few days ago, my world got very, very busy.
I had no sooner started work on a new (and rather unusual) poetry-picture book when I found out brochures were ready for the upcoming 100th Hopkinton State Fair, taking place Labor Day weekend in Contoocook, New Hampshire. I’m not only the official announcer for the fair – I work all weekend, wandering the grounds with a microphone reminding people of what’s happening – but I also oversee all the radio broadcast purchases and production, and now that the events had been finalized, I needed to jump into high gear:
- I have announcer notes I needed to update from the previous year (and with 4 days of agriculture events, live music, demonstrations, family entertainment, and grandstand shows, it took me over 4 hours just to do that)
- I needed to write radio commercials – eight, to be exact – plus several short “live reads” for when the radio jocks talk about us on the air.
- I needed to update all the telephone on-hold messages, which required that I write 3 pages of text before recording anything.
- I needed to confirm with all the radio stations that they have everything they need to begin their promotions
- I still need to voice and produce those eight radio commercials, and voice the audio for the TV commercial…that’s on tomorrow’s “to-do” list.
I mention all of this not because I want anyone to think I’m trying to show off what I do – but to understand that all of this was done in two days’ time! And now that that project is (almost) complete, I have a book manuscript co-authored by a client of mine I need to proofread! So far, I’ve gotten through Chapter 1. It’s a good book, but it takes longer to read it when one is scanning with an eye for grammar, syntax, and such.
What about that picture book?
I hate putting things on hold, but that’s what you have to do when you’re a stay-at-home parent with only a few hours of each day available to work. I’ve got the beginning of the picture book started, so reading it helps me get into the groove – but I probably won’t resume writing it until later this week, hopefully.
I still need to update my list of folks to whom I’ve submitted other manuscripts, and see if there’s someone out there who might be looking for a manuscript I have to offer.
Oh, and I have some short voiceover projects I need to attend to, as well. That’s the career that allowed me to stay home in the first place, so I really can’t neglect that!
First things first, though!
First, I have two kids who want to play with me, so that takes precedence. I don’t always have the luxury of playing with my 5-year-old son and nearly-2-year-old daughter (I do have dishes, laundry, and other chores to take care of!), but I try to make the time whenever I can.
My son isn’t into playing “games” like kicking a soccer ball or throwing a Frisbee per se – he’d much rather pretend we’re Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or wild lions or dogs or robots or whatnot – so playing with him is a much more physical activity than one might expect!
As for my daughter…well, she’s happy playing whatever her brother is playing.
And I can’t complain. A few years from now, he’ll probably grow tired of playing with me and spend all his time with friends, classmates, and girls. And of course, I can’t blame him. It’s way things go, right?
So as long as he and his sister want to play with me, I’ll do my best to keep up with them.
The laundry can wait.