It was twenty years ago today. Or, rather, twenty years ago fourteen days ago. Sorry, been real busy….
But it was on 1 May 1998 that I stopped being an office worker and became a freelancer. While I have taken on a couple of bits of part-time regular employment — working two days a week for Byron Preiss Multimedia Company from 1998-1999, doing various jobs for the U.S. Census Bureau from 2009-2010 and working two days a week for the Cardinal Spellman High School Library from 2010-2012 — I haven’t been a full-time salaried employee of anyone or anything since the 30th of April in 1998.
There are times when the insecurity of freelance living can be devastating. I’ve been lucky to have very understanding landlords, and I’ve also had support from friends and family and fans when things have gotten bad. But I’ve always managed, with the help of my various helpmeets (my first wife, Marina Frants, whose six-figure salary made the decision to go freelance in 1998 much easier to manage, and without whose support I never would have taken that plunge; my live-in girlfriend Terri Osborne, whose steady job helped keep things going when we lived together from 2001-2009; and my second wife, Wrenn Simms, who is also freelance, but who is unfailingly supportive and helpful and wonderful).
But I love the flexibility of my schedule, I love the sheer number of things I do — writer! editor! karate teacher! — and I just generally love my life. It’s a goddamn impossible way of life, it’s an existence that is as chaotic as fuck, and I wouldn’t trade it in for nothin’.
So happy freelanceaversary to me!
(Also I can work anywhere. Like a Starbucks. Pretty keen! Photo by Laura Anne Gilman.)