Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jack Frost nipping at your toes

It's a bit burra-hobbit outside this morning. Knew what was coming when I saw a gritter truck sweep past last night on the way home from attending an event in the Biggar Little Festival [organ recital and choral selections, since you ask - very good it was, too]. Sure enough, this morning brings a frost, a little ice scraping off the car windows and the need to wear gloves outside. But it's not a hard frost and it'll be some time yet before snow returns.

Me, I love snow. Having grown up in Auckland, New Zealand, I didn't touch snow until I was 20. It doesn't snow in Auckland and only wealthy families ever went skiing. We were many things, but wealthy wasn't one of them. When I did finally get to touch snow, I was amazed to discover it was cold [who knew?] and quite hard once it had lain for a while underfoot. Somehow, I expected snow to be soft and fluffy, like cotton wool. Guess I'd bought into the fantasy, not the reality, of snow.

The cold in the air is making it feel a tiny bit like Christmas. The annual extravaganza of eating, drinking and excessive expenditure is still two months ago, but freelancers need to plan ahead for the festive season. For a start, if we want to buy our family and friends nice Christmas, we have do extra work now in the hope we'll be paid in time for shopping expeditions - or in time for the headache of January's credit card bill.

Worse still is the reality that a lot of creative industries shut down for at least half of December and most of January. People may be in and out of the office, but no meaningful commissioning takes places for between four and seven weeks during this period. So you need to line up some work to do during this period, or face having no money come in during January, February, even into March. Jumpstarting a career deep frozen by Christmas is tougher than thawing any turkey.

Plenty to do between now and December 25th: a novel to write, a book to sub-edit, several comics scripts to write, agents to chase for representation and various other kinds of excitement. Onwards!

1 comment:

Laura Anderson said...

I've got friends in Auckland that visited us over a snowy New Year a while back. I was about 18, they 22, and they had never seen snow before either. My friend Gareth - a sporty sort - threw snowballs so fiercely he hurt everyone and we had to ban him from playing. He didn't think snow would be so hard either...