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Welcome Aboard Our Newest Roller Coaster, the Freelancer

OtherWelcome Aboard Our Newest Roller Coaster, the Freelancer

Buckle up and prepare for the ride of your life! We have some of the world’s most income-stability-defying heights, plus thrilling twists, turns, and retainer contracts. Please take a seat and hang on tight. Our passengers do get thrown back into Uber driving on the reg.

We’re beginning the climb! Feel the pleasant breeze of avoiding rush-hour traffic and the joy of gliding through an empty grocery store at midday or taking leisurely walks with your dog whenever the hell you want.

We’re rounding the bend—wave to your friends below! Especially Connor, with his mortgage, cushy retirement plan, and sad office job with fluorescent lighting. He didn’t have the courage to ride the Freelancer!

We’re at the top! Enjoy waking up late and working from bed. Here we pause.

Your first client’s check is overdue.

We plunge into the Crevasse of Rejected Projects. You spent too long on a half-baked magazine pitch about organic gardening in the nude. But, as we hit the bottom, you figure: you live, you learn. Besides, the fall is thrilling—you feel nauseated from motion sickness, but you’re doing this freelance thing!

You veer sideways and are whipped around a bend—it took you four hours to sign an e-contract, because no one told you about DocHub!

Catch your breath. You’re entering the Ghosting-Client Corkscrew of Death, a vertiginous spiral that terrifies, disorients, and makes you wish that you hadn’t listened to your independently wealthy friend Jenn when she dragged you to Bali and drunkenly said that you were an unstoppable force who was too good for the nine-to-five grind. You are flung violently up and down, as a deranged chorus of voices is piped in. “Your proposal was great!” “We’ll get back to you in two weeks!” “Can’t wait to jam about quiz funnels and conversion rates!” Finally, you slow to a stop, upside down. This is where your glasses fall off your face and into the abyss.

Now you round a pass where younger people ask to “pick your brain” about becoming a writer. You’re rapidly rocked side to side, from the egotism of being an “expert” to the crippling self-doubt of being a complete and total fraud who hasn’t worked in three weeks and whose greatest success was beating every level in Bejeweled Blitz.

You speed into a heart-stopping inverted loop where a section of the track is missing. You’re upside down and being propelled through the air by sheer centrifugal force—you’ve been given an assignment from a major publication, for a feminist reading of “Rock of Love”!

You’re gloriously weightless. Your friends below are so impressed. Connor is bragging about you at happy hour. Your work has gone viral on Twitter! Feminists love you! Roxane Gay retweeted you! Men’s-rights activists hate you!

Look, you’re at the top again! Reward yourself, girl. Buy that plane ticket to Italy.

Breathe in the thin, rarefied air as you lurch to a halt. Here we dangle you over the park. It’s time to send your monthly payment of four hundred and thirty-seven dollars for health insurance that only offers in-network psychiatrists who aren’t accepting new patients. Congratulations, your quarterly taxes are also due. Your plane ticket to Italy is nonrefundable, and you still haven’t replaced those glasses.

You can still blurrily see Connor from here, with his homeownership, his recent promotion, and his avowal of “I really envy you; you’re living the life!” What a smug dick.

And you’re moving again! The track turns you sideways as you frantically write a real-estate e-mail funnel, despite having bronchitis, because your asshole boss (you) doesn’t offer paid sick days.

The bottom drops out. How are you falling again? That same respected publication has now rejected you. You screwed the pooch with those three misspellings and that factual error about the meaning of the eggplant emoji. The feminist world has forgotten you. Men’s-rights activists still hate you.

You reach flat track as the ride ends. A technical-writing gig on government entities providing cybersecurity through digital transformation just fell into your lap. It pays double your usual rate! It’s also boring as hell. Sure, you’ve lost a shoe, but your feet are on the ground.

Thank you for riding the Freelancer. Go ahead and puke in the bushes. And remember to come back to visit our exciting upcoming attraction, a hall of mirrors named All Your Friends Are More Successful Than You.

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