On Freelance Breathing Space

Recently one of my favorite editors at one of my favorite freelance gigs sent out an email announcing that we all — staff and freelancers alike — were being given “breathing space” for a few weeks. I don’t know if this is a euphemism for being a bit broke or if things really were getting hectic at HQ. I do know that I spent the first half-hour of my breathing space hyperventilating.

When I regained my composure and reminded myself that I’d ridden these freelance waves before, I thought about what I’d like to do with my breathing space. I did recently take a break from aikido to try new things; what new thing could I try now?

So I decided to take action on an idea I jotted down during a panel at the 2010 ASJA conference: The Active Dog Chronicles. I have an active dog — a very active dog. In the seven months since I’ve adopted him, I have used every kind of resource to find ways to keep him happy and exercised, no matter the weather or my mood. I’m no expert, but I figured if I had a need, other people probably did, too.

I jotted down notes in OneNote for a couple of weeks (another ASJA panel suggestion), and soon had plenty of ideas to fill a blog. Now that I had breathing space, I could make it happen. So I did — Sunday morning. There are a few posts up now, and a simple intro to me and Danny my active dog.

I also bought a thick stack of dog magazines, which have come a long way in the last year. I’ll put together some pitches, keep up with the blog, and hopefully establish a second niche while I wait for more assignments from my editor.