• Lifestyle

The bad freelancer's guide to fall

Fall is my favorite season - especially as a freelancer! Why?

1. Back-to-school motivation

Remember that feeling, as a kid, when you were facing a whole new academic year’s worth of possibilities and adventures? The night before your first day of classes, you’d lay out your carefully-chosen outfit.

You’d survey your freshly-sharpened pencils and clean new notebooks, and revel in the fact that this was a fresh start: a rebirth, a chance to start anew. In this Brand New Year, nobody would ever remember that you were the chief suspect in Ms. Farmer’s Mysterious Desk Arson.

Renewal is an important part of staying motivated as a freelance professional! Capture that feeling of rebirth by sending Ms. Farmer a charred stapler. She’ll know what it means.

2. Holiday season is almost upon us

Halloween swiftly leads to Thanksgiving, which all-too-quickly slides into the December holiday season, which means that all of your clients will forget you exist while hopped up on free ‘nog at their annual party (you aren’t invited).

Head off the seasonal freelance slump by pre-billing your clients for the entire November-December season. Heck, include January-February, too! They probably won’t notice. Just send them a nice, friendly 4-months-upfront invoice with a sprig of holly attached to it. Then relax with a candy cane, or something.

3. Cooler weather = fewer distractions

When summer days are blazing, it’s easy for a busy freelancer to feel like they’re missing out on all the fun! Beach days, ice cream socials, long picnics in the park... these are all the kind of things you would do in the summer if you had friends.

Cold, crisp days are a perfect excuse to snuggle up with your Best Friend (some might say Best Cat, but whatever) and plot your revenge against all those sun-loving snobs .... er, I mean, get some work done.

4. Fall paraphernalia

Who doesn’t love the trappings of autumn? Dead leaves, woodsmoke, gourds, and - most of all – pumpkin spice everything. Geez, can you imagine how much money JUST Starbucks makes JUST in the pumpkin spice arena? Who’s their Pumpkin Spice Freelancer? Who steers THAT seasonal ship? You can do better than that person, right?

I mean, look, they should at least look at your resume. You can describe sweet-autumnal-flavors-with-hints-of-nutmeg-and-cinnamon better than anyone I know, champ! You can pick out exactly the right shade of umber to complement that oak leaf graphic. You march right up to your local barista and demand to see the person in charge. You’ll be The Queen of Pumpkin Spice before you know it, and then they’ll all be sorry. Nutmeggy, cinammony, and sorry.

The Bad Freelancer gives Bad Freelance Advice. Please don’t take it.

Kate Shea Kate Shea lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily.