I love The Martian. Both the book and the movie are fantastic. There are a number of reasons why which I’ll go into another time, but the reason I say it today is this: It was the best possible thing for me after losing my job.
After the initial shock and re-reading the email over and over, looking for “April Fools” to be tacked on there somewhere, I went for a long walk. I had to clear my head. Just two weeks ago I was telling my wife how lucky I was to have this job, that my worst day as an editor was still pretty damn good.
Clearly Zeus misheard me and thought I’d said he had a micro dick.
It’s now Sol 3 since I got the news that Samhain Publishing was winding down and my services were no longer required. The Hab is fully stocked. I’d been gathering dry goods for long term storage for some time beforehand. Lucky me. But it could be months before a resupply or before I land safely at another publisher.
Okay, I’ll skip the Martian metaphors, but you get the idea. During that walk, I realized I was thinking like Mark Watney. Look at the problem. Do the math. Get to work.
Panic accomplishes nothing.
First off I had to assess my current financial state. How much do I have in savings? Turns out I have enough to help hold up my end for months, maybe even a year if we budget properly.
Add to that the fact that Samhain was not my only source of income. I have some supplemental income from Kenzer & Company and Inky Kiss. Not a lot, but every bit helps.
So the bottom line is: I have time. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders right there.
Next I had to look at what I could do immediately. Looking for a job takes time, so job hunting and applications can wait for the moment. Is there anything I can do right now?
I’ve already heard from my authors, and a number of them are interested in continuing to work with me in a freelance capacity. That’s REALLY good news. It means I’ve got a shot at making a go of freelancing.
Freelancing. Now there’s a daunting prospect. Having to be responsible for everything on my own seems overwhelming. But that’s the wrong way to look at the problem.
You can’t do everything you need to right this instance. That’s fine. Just ask yourself, what CAN you do?
I found myself dusting off my old freelance editor website from three years back (never used) and reworking it. First just updating the information, then adding in testimonials and book covers from my various assignments, then changing the layout completely. Now it’s starting to shine.
But what about actually freelancing? Can I do it it all on my own?
Well, here’s the thing – I HAVE been freelancing for three years already. Working for Samhain was always freelance work. It’s just it had structure and clearly defined roles attached. And I learned a lot working in that environment. I can take all that knowledge and apply it here.
I have connections. I know people. I can provide more than just my own services, I can refer authors to others for marketing, book covers, final line edits, blog tours, you name it. I can turn myself into the gateway for turning your manuscript into a published novel.
The Net will come to fear my editing powers.