I’m a writer. When I tell people that, I get one of these two responses “Wow! It’s so cool!” or “Hmm. Can you make a living out of that?”
And as much as I want to say “Oh, totally!”, I am not there yet. My income comes from a combination of freelance tutoring, teaching, blogging and writing. While I love doing all these things together, I want to be able to say “That book deal changed my life (=aka my finances)!” or “Eat your heart Carrie Bradshaw, I write about relationships for a living, and I have got more than a closet full of expensive shoes to show for it!”
But as I said, I am not there yet. The tasks of a freelance writer never ends (just like a blogger’s never ends, but that’s a different post). I still have to finish that book that I was inspired to write in 2004. I still have tons of publications to study and pitch to. I still have a lot of new markets to discover, study and yes, pitch to. Then I have to keep writing my book, keep up the blogs, follow-up with the queries and deal with rejection, or worse – no answers from editors.
So I need other freelancers to understand me, who have been or are still are where I am. I want to laugh with them, maybe get depressed temporarily and then move on with them. And while networking with others help, I don’t have a freelance writer friend who l can talk to whenever I feel like it.
And since none of my friends are willing to jump the 9 to 5 wagon to join me, I found the perfect substitute. Wayne E. Pollard’s “I’m Not Out of Work!, I’m a Writer” is a collection of Pollard’s Bo’s Café Life strips where he simply and hilariously depicts the life of a freelancer, complete with other freelancer friends and their meetings in coffee shops.
Bo and all his friends are appropriately represented by drawings of coffee cups. As a freelance writer who does most (and best) of her work in cafés, and who is also (shockingly!) writing this review with a cup of coffee nearby, the collection couldn’t have been more spot on.
I first stumbled upon Bo’s Café Life when I was trying to find funny, writing-related cartoons for this blog. I loved the cartoons so much that I e-mailed him to ask if I could use them on my blog, linking to his blog. He kindly said yes, and even sent me the copy of the book, which I finished in about 20 minutes and went back to read it again. Yes, it is funny and very relevant.
It is so easy to identify with his coffee-cup characters. The multiple rejections, never summoning up the courage to send/finish some of your stuff, consoling yourself with the rejection numbers of currently famous authors, almost living in cafés…
There are so many books on motivation and productivity out there. And while I enjoy reading the good ones, sometimes I need a fast boost in the spirits and I don’t have time to read (or the strength to carry) all the necessary motivational stuff with me. And thankfully, I just have them all in one tiny book now.
It’s recommended for all writers. Except maybe not for the likes of John Grisham. I mean the dude is my favorite crime writer, but he doesn’t need it anymore. I’m sure he did need it when he was trying to get A Time to Kill published and got rejected over and over again….Ah…remember the times when John Grisham was unknown and Hollywood didn’t turn one of his books into a movie every couple of years?
“I’m Not Out of Work!, I’m a Writer!!” will be hitting the shelves at the end of September. If you can’t wait, and are up for a challenge, you can join Bo’s Café Life Fiction Contest. Details are here. But be quick. The deadline is August 31!