There Must Be a Harder Way

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Where have I been? Working too much!  Not writing my blog, obviously.

I’ve had some big projects, technical writing and project management mostly, that leave me too tired at the end of the day to write for fun. Last night, after 10 hours at the computer, I sprawled on the sofa and caught up on a week’s worth of newspapers.

One article talked about the Mt. Airy U-Pick Farm a few miles away, where customers have been harvesting their own strawberries for 30 years. Until I read it, I’d never thought about how tough it is to grow strawberries. Heat, storms, weevils–the crop faces many threats, and some years the yield is so meager that customers are turned away. The family who owns the farm works year-round for a one-month harvest. Their motto: “There must be a harder way.”

That could apply to freelance writing, too.  Earnings can be low and hours are long. Just the other day someone offered me $50 to research and write a feature article for a website, which would amount to about $6 an hour, or $1.25 less than minimum wage.  When I’m in the midst of a project, I’m often at the computer on nights and weekends.  And I’m constantly worrying about where my next assignment is coming from.

But when it comes right down to it, I love what I do. No matter how challenging an assignment is, I feel great when I see the pieces come together.  The result isn’t fragrant and delicious like a ripe red berry, but it’s my own kind of fruit.

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