Sunday, 11 April 2010

Freelance work?

I've been giving a lot of thought to what I'm going to do after I graduate in June/July of this year. Obviously, the ideal would be to write full-time, for my novels to get somewhere, etc. Of course, this is unlikely and my chances are slim. Still, I'm persisting. But while ECHOES is out on submission with agents and I work on first drafts of CLOCKWORK and HALF, something's got to pay my rent, right?

So, I thought, I could do several things:

I could hang every single hope on the manuscripts, and not consider that practically, nothing but me is going to pay rent, bills etc over the next few months. Erm, no.

I could pretend that I'm going to have the sanctuary of university life forever. Sadly, I no longer do this kind of pretending very well. I used to be an excellent pretender as a child. I wove the most elaborate and wonderful lies out of nothing. The prize of my collection is probably when, at the age of nine, I invented for myself a magnificent purple motorcycle that could fly, and made my best friend cry when I told her I took an overnight trip to Africa without her. I was, in every sense of the word, a "dreadful little storyteller". It's not really surprising, then, that writing fiction is to me what tea is to the English.

I could apply for every possible summer job available. Of course, while this is a great idea, doing it is impossible until these jobs actually start being advertised, so I'm going to have to wait a while for that.

Or, I could find freelance work as a writer. What better way to do what I love, while making some money and working flexible hours? (Fixed hours, with exams on the horizon, are just impossible) So I've applied for some freelance writing work, notably a job writing stories for very young children. While writing a 50 to 70-word story may not sound difficult at all, let me just say, writing for young children is hard. Every single word has to count, and you have to choose every single one carefully. You have to be witty and yet not ironic, you have to be simple without patronizing them, and so forth. 

I recently got back an email from a lady in charge of the work, and she asked me to send her an outline and a few sentences of a possible story, for the editors to look over. Then they'll decide if they want me to write a few of these stories.

Now the question remains: what story shall I tell? Will flying motorcycles do?

1 comment:

  1. just make a cool million from writing kids books, and we can go and do uni again for three years?