Freelancer Fee Convergence

book and script editor for hire Joe Wallaceby Joe Wallace

One day, science will explain that curious phenomenon I like to call “freelancer fee convergence,” which is where you go ages and ages without getting paid and then suddenly all of your checks show up at once.

This seems to happen not only to me, but to nearly every freelancer I know. Checks are late being paid, getting later all the time, the rent is due, your laundry is piling up for want of a stack of quarters, and you just sent off a new round of invoices to clients you don’t expect to pay up for at least 60 days.

Then suddenly, the late clients pay up, the new clients pay early, and you’re sitting on a small fortune.

I love feeling like a wanna-be Donald Trump (a Trump-a-be?) when I go to the bank on days like that…depositing that little pot of gold that showed up in your mailbox is a great feeling. But there’s got to be a better feeling than the one you had just the day BEFORE the mail carrier flooded your mailbox with Benjamins. That sinking feeling that you’ll be painting houses for your landlord soon, or perhaps doing a first draft on your cardboard sign.

What I want to know is, how do all the clients know to stick the check in the mail on THAT DAY so they all wind up coming at once? Is it some kind of spider-sense tingly feeling they all get? Or is there some supernatural wispy thing muttering into their ears? “Sssssennd it noooowwwwwwwwww”

Whatever the case, the mood swings from financial terror to cash flow ecstasy are a little wearying, no?

Joe Wallace is a freelance editor and writer. He’s currently editing two book projects for confidential clients and accepting new projects on a limited basis. Contact him at jwallace (at) freelance-zone (dotcom).

One thought on “Freelancer Fee Convergence”

  1. I’ve experienced this phenomenon, but when I was working during the days and had a salary I could count on, it didn’t affect me as much. Now that I’ve gone to fulltime freelancing, I’m starting to notice the feast/famine patterns of the writing life. It’s a little like being on a roller coaster with some big, scary drops, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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