My days in “self-employed” category have officially begun. I thought I had blogged enough about the nature of my freelancing arrangement, but clearly not, for people still mail/come up to me with reactions ranging from:
(portentously) “Be careful boss, it’s a big bad world out there; you’ll spend half your time running after cheques, and eventually starve to death”
(tee hee hee-ly) “Ooh, you’re so lucky, you’ll have so much free time now!”
Clarification 1: This isn’t one of those cases where “freelancing” equals “financial uncertainty”. The bulk of my work will still be for Business Standard: I have a contract that specifies what I’ll be doing for them on a monthly basis, in exchange for a salary that more than covers what I was getting from them as a regular employee. So I’m more than secure on that front. Whatever I make from other freelancing assignments can be treated as a bonus, at least in the initial months (after which greed and ambition will set in, and I’ll take on more and more assignments just for the money, and the quality of my work will nosedive, and I’ll become the Times of India).
Clarification 2: I’m lucky alright, but not because I’ll have more free time - quite the contrary, I’m now going to be doing a greater quantity of work than I was earlier; that’s something implicit to this arrangement. The good thing about it is, I’ll largely be able to manage my time the way it suits me to. Won’t be tied any more to a depressing daily routine where I have to spend a certain amount of time parked in front of the computer in office, regardless of whether I’m feeling productive during those hours (and as anyone knows, much of that time is spent chatting/putting up with colleagues/removing ant carcasses from the vending-machine tea anyway).
Clarification 3 (in response to the most ridiculous statement that has come my way – “your life is going to be so relaxed now!”): If you think self-discipline is “relaxed” and “easy”, try it for yourself. To be honest, I’m pretty scared about some aspects of this thing, including the solitariness involved in being cooped up at home for long stretches, with a lugubrious Pomeranian howling ballads in the next room. So the knowledge that my computer in office stays in place, and I’ll be able to come in whenever I want to, is a big security blanket. Should help preserve sanity.
Clarification 4: No, this won’t give me more time for blogging, exactly the opposite. A lot of my blog-writing in the past has been done during those long, vacant hours in office between assignments/page-making. The extra time I get with this new arrangement will probably be spent in reading/watching films/meeting people. So the blog will increasingly become a storehouse for my published work, with fewer original posts than before. (Or at least that’s what I’m claiming now, don’t know if I’ll be able to de-addict so easily!)