Thursday, July 30, 2015

Powerless, But Not Helpless — My Hot Zen Musings

Several months ago, a client booked me for the latter part of this week. He had a 200-page proposal, "kind of a monster," he said, and he would let me know more details as he knew them.

I checked in a week ago to see if we were still on schedule. He said, Oh yeah; we plan to give it to you Thursday because we'd like to upload it on Friday.

I said:

Two hundred pages in 24 hours??????

He said, "Oh. Perhaps I wasn't clear. When I said 'Thursday' I meant 'Wednesday,' and when I said '200,' I meant '80.' Is that more do-able?"

Well — yes. And it's also a lot less work and a lot less money. Whatever.

So Wednesday came . . . and passed . . . in a blaze of heat and humidity. They did manage to send me about 30 pages toward the end of the day.

And now it's Thursday, at 2:47 p.m., and they have sent me, precisely:

I am way less available tomorrow. My kids finish their summer "camps," and I am going to see Li'l Martini perform in a skit his group wrote, then we'd planned to take everyone out for an early dinner. Instead, I predict I'll be glued to my computer, frantically editing the last 50 pages, which will come at the very last minute and which I really need to do because I really really need the money.

(I won't miss Martini's show but I might have to skip the family dinner.)


This entire week has comprised some version of me sitting by my phone/computer, sadly hitting "Refresh? Refresh?" I am the living personification of these wise words:

It is too hot to be this pathetic.

I did in fact sit at my computer most of the morning, hoping, hoping, but also reformatting a Sunday school curriculum for Kind Tina — it's not paying work, but it needs to be done and I'm finding it satisfying — but I have left the computer now; I'm in front of a fan drinking icy diet soda and reading Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, which is marvelous. I check in every half hour, that's it.

Inwardly I'm still screaming ARRGGGHHHH!!! but outwardly I'm very Zen. You'd never know what I'm really thinking.

Nothing yet. Back to my book.



  1. You may hate the world, but you should feel good about yourself, because you are one of about 15 people in this state who can properly use the word "comprise." And that makes me not hate you.

    1. Not everyone appreciates a smarty girl, alas — but you and I do!


  2. Perhaps freelancers should start charging for time spent waiting, like taxis!

  3. P.S. I wonder if your client is perhaps writing his book *as *you *wait?
    This would explain some of the "writing" that has come my way...

    I'm not really snotty about writing, but sometimes, (say, if I have to edit it, and it's hot outside) I quote Truman Capote (in my head), "It isn't writing at all-–it's typing.”

    1. Hee! I would love to charge a "kill fee" for time I held that didn't get used, but I think those clients would quickly find another editress, alas. But they did give me a ton of work after all and were so appreciative and complimentary of my skills . . . what can you do. I know they were crazed on their end and were doing the best they could.

      And now it's over and I have all that glorious money to look forward to! Like childbirth, I forget the pain and focus on the bounty before me. :)