Thursday, December 20, 2007

I should be working.

My primary occupation for the last three years has been my kidlets, but on the side, I still do some work. This helps a lot financially, considering my husband and I both seem to be operating under the assumption that we still have two incomes (hello credit card debt). I also get to have something that keeps me "in the game", at least a little bit. I don't have any intentions of ever going back to work for someone else (although you never know what life will throw at you), but I do plan to continue making money. Thus far, I've accomplished this through what I can loosely call "consulting". In my former life I was in marketing and communications, so I've done some projects here and there at least somewhat related to my former field.

Right now my biggest client has given me some pretty hefty projects. I love calling them my "biggest client" - it sounds so official. Truthfully, they are the company owned by my parents - my mom and stepdad. I've worked for them off and on for years and they've been my largest source of "side work" since having kids. I've done work for a few others, my husband's company and a former coworker included, but my parents' company has been my bread and butter.

Recently my stepdad announced he was looking to hire a writer and had this long list of projects he needed the person to tackle. Um, hello? Me? I read the description and the list and my mouth started watering. As someone looking to focus my career on freelance writing, this was a goldmine. Articles, reports, websites, coauthoring his books.... Yes, please!

I sent him an email with a list of rather compelling reasons (if I do say so myself) as to why he should hire ME to do the work, at least in the short term. He thinks he needs a full time person. But here's the thing: I can get work done quite a bit faster than the average bear. I don't mean that in a "look at me, I'm so great" kind of way. It just is what it is, particularly when it's stuff like this, research and writing. I've always been that way in my job and every boss I've ever had has commented, favorably, on it. I get crap done and I get it done fast - and well.

So here I am with a project budgeted at 20 hours. I've spent probably 6, at the most, and I'm nearly done. It might take me another 2. There's a part of me that panics, thinking I must be missing something or I'm doing a crappy job and he's going to realize how few hours I've spent just by reading it. I've read his project description about a million times, trying to make sure I'm getting every detail. Then I go back and read what I've written for it, and call me crazy, but it's damn good and sounds to me to be just what he's asking for. I'm not writing a book here, just a series of snippets for a report. There's only so much you can say about the geography and climate of California's Central Valley. And he needed me to write a "quarter page introduction" to the area. I've literally measured the paragraphs, played with the font size and made sure that by anyone's estimates, my piece is at least a quarter page long. I seriously think I'm giving him everything he needs and it's good quality work. It just doesn't take me very long.

So now I'm torn as to whether to send it to him this early and let him know I'm ready for more work, or wait a few more days so he doesn't think I rushed through it. They pay me by the project, not by the hour most of the time, and I'd hate for him to think he's overpaying me, especially if he thinks I'm going to be spending more than twice the time that I actually do. And quite frankly, I need the money, so I don't want him to start underestimating future projects on me.

And I have to admit, the other reason I'm sitting here typing away is that my husband is in the other room and knows I'm supposed to be working. He can't see my screen, so he thinks I am. Wow, that sounds so deceptive, but I'll be honest - I want him to think I'm spending all this time in front of the computer working. I don't know why; maybe I think he'll appreciate me more if he thinks I work more hours than I do. That's terrible. Seeing it written out like that makes me feel like I'm lying to him. Crap.

In any case, I should be working, but I'm so close to being done I can cut it short for tonight. I only have so much brain power by the end of the day anyway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He doesn't have this link does he??? hee hee Then he'll know just how good you are! Keep up the great work!