I stole that word from Tobias Buckell on Twitter
Anyhow, I was so awash in The Project That Cannot Be Named (Yet) that I totally missed that 1 May 2013 was my 15th anniversary as a freelancer.
Back in early 1998, I had completed half a Spider-Man novel and a movie novelization. The latter, I did in six weeks off an incomplete script while working a full-time job. Correctly identifying that as a marketable skill, having a great desire to seriously nurture my burgeoning writing career, growing fed up with a lot of the nonsense at my day job at Byron Preiss (which would come to a head that October when I walked away completely), and having the full (and generous) support of my wife at the time (who was far and away the breadwinner in the household anyhow, so that even the initial dip in monies coming in would be a drop in the bucket, plus her health insurance was way
better than what I got from Byron anyhow), I ceased being a salaried employee as of the first of May 1998.
The decade-and-a-half since have been amazing. It hasn't always been perfect, mind you. For the first ten years, it was great -- between fiction writing, freelance editing, and web site stuff I made a better living than I did as a salaried employee after the first year. But the last five years have been more difficult, as the crash of 2008 had a brutal ripple effect on my ability to get work -- advances went down, freelance editing work all but disappeared, two editors got laid off and their replacements showed no interest in hiring me -- and I had to do things like work for the U.S. Census Bureau and my old high school library.
But I wouldn't trade my career for nothing. There's lots of things I wish I'd done better or differently, but overall, I'm pleased. And I'm so incredibly not suited to office work (and after 15 years, I doubt an office would take me) that it's better for the universe that I keep doing it this way.
So here's to 15 years, and lots more after that....