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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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The Lifestyle
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Two months ago I had an interview for a full time position with the WWE. I was sitting in a makeshift office (they were in the process of moving some things around) with Kevin Sullivan and Michael Cole when Cole asked the one question I knew would come up; why would I ever want to give up the freelance lifestyle for a full time position somewhere? Yes, I know a lot of 9-5 folks don’t understand the freelance life at all, they think all we do is sit around all day doing nothing and then poof an article appears out of thin air, but Cole knew exactly what he was asking about. Freelance means I work on my own schedule. If I want to work early, I can. If I want to sleep in and work late, I can. Full time work means set hours and significantly less freedom. Ironically, full time jobs usually demand less hours than freelancing, but the freedom is the big difference. It’s not about how many hours, it’s about when those hours are. Of course, then there’s days like yesterday.

The story of yesterday actually starts with some info on Monday. I had what I thought was a full Monday planned. I was going to post up the Artist of the Week interview and syndicate it on a number of sites before breakfast. Editing my Game interview for RapReviews was what I had on the docket for after that. Then, after a workout, of course (hey, I’m freelance!), I planned on transcribing an interview that was due later in the week so I could write it up Tuesday. Turned out editing my Game interview took no time at all and I got all my transcribing done before I hit the gym. Heck, I even wrote the article that night, which happened to be what I was planning on doing on Tuesday.

With everything done I woke up Tuesday morning, turned on my computer, and waited. Oh I waited. Nothing, and I mean nothing was going on. I left a few messages for people looking to set some things up. I hit the library to pick out a new book (The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac if anyone’s wondering). I called a bookstore to see if one of my magazines was in (it wasn’t). I waited. Heck, I even started reading the book midway through the afternoon because so little was going on. Oh that freelance lifestyle. Then 4:45pm hit.

I had been up and logged on since about 7:45am, but it wasn’t until a quarter to five that anything of note happened. An email of actual importance arrived. Looks like I’ll be setting up an interview with an artist I’ve been looking to speak with for a while now. Totally stoked, my phone rings. It’s UPS with a package for me. I see the UPS guy basically every day so I figured this would be another CD or two. Nope. Instead it’s my copies of the new issue of Foam which features my interview with famed surf artist Rick Rietveld! All of a sudden things were coming together, and at a rapid rate. All of a sudden my day, which had been one of the most boring on record in quite a while, had a purpose to it and in the span of only a few minutes I went from thinking “man, nothing happened today,” to “hey, I got things done!” The day was nowhere near over yet, though. At 8pm I received a call from DJ Halo who had an emergency and needed someone, me, to cover his midnight to 2am time slot at WVOF. So, my day, which started off VERY slowly, ended action packed.

OK, so truthfully the fact that I was so awesome on Monday and completed two days worth of tasks in one had a little something to do with my Tuesday starting so slow, but that’s the freelance lifestyle. Some days are filled, some days aren’t. I’m just starting to get used to the fact that it’s OK to open up a book and read in the middle of the day if nothing’s going on. Work can’t be forced, it doesn’t happen that way, at least not in my line of work. There are some days when I won’t have time to think, when I’ll be running around scheduling interviews, doing interviews, mailing off magazines to people and pitching articles. Then there are days like yesterday, when I’ve done my job really well placing articles in magazines so I don’t have much to pitch, I’ve taken care of everything that needs to be written up, and there just isn’t that much work to be done. Like I said, even though I’ve been writing for over half a decade I’m still getting used to this. I still freak out a bit thinking the world is going to end and all my money is going to run out because it’s a slow day, but I know I’ll get over that eventually.

Oh yeah, and for those of you still wondering about that job interview with the WWE, I answered the question really well but still didn’t get the gig. It’s all good, though, I enjoy the life I’m leading. Of course for the right job I’d be willing to go by someone else’s clock, but until that day comes I’ll be living this lifestyle the fullest.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:32 AM  
  • At 9:21 AM, Blogger Ekko said…

    dunno if i shoudl be wishing you good luck...i mean, it's the wwe...

  • At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Tim said…

    And just like that, I hate myself for being handcuffed to this office computer, forced to clock in and out. Maybe I should just start living the freelance lifestyle at my 8-5 and see how long it takes for "them" to fire me.

  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger Adam said…

    Thanks Ekko.

    And Tim, as you know, most employers don't "get it." They think that someone is only working if they're sitting at a desk with a boss hovering over them. You know what, though, I know a lotta people where that IS the case, so I can't fault them for it. What I can fault them for is for not reconizing when someone works well on their own. Ya know?

  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger Andrew said…

    Freelancing is kind of romanticized by a lot of people but it's funny that every freelancer I've ever met has been quick to tell me that it's a real balacing act.

    Adam, was there more frequent down time when you started out? Since you seem like the type who doesn't like to be idle, how'd you deal with it?

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger Adam said…

    Andrew you're 100% right, I can't stand downtime. Since when we freelance (I know you're a fellow writer so I can say "we") we only get paid when we're working downtime only equates to one thing, less money, and since freelancers aren't exactly paid like kings that can be an issue. Working a 9-5 if there's nothing to do there's very little pressure other than to "look busy."

    I honestly don't remember if there was more downtime at the start. I will say this, though, with each new magazine that accepts my work I become less and less concerned with the downtime.

    How do I deal with it in the meantime? I worry, I stress, and eventually I give in and say "OK, the universe says I need a day off and this is how it's giving it to me. Take it, accept it, and realize tomorrow is another day." Of course if it happesn for more than a few days in a row I PANIC! LOL!

  • At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Party Manager said…

    I like effen lifestyle. Work hard, party hard - vip all the way to a-list nightclub

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