This is sort of a new pet peeve of mine, and one that I am curious if anyone else has had similar experiances. I have noticed a certain public perception, not with everyone mind you but there are a select few that don't seem to fathom the concept of freelance work.
On occasion I do randomly get someone who seems to play on my good nature, and assume since I am not clocking into an office from 9-5, then I must have nothing but freetime. Just because I make my own hours, does not mean I don't work very hard at what I do. And just because I am not a household name like a Stephen King or someone, does not mean I am not working!
I admit, my credits are sparse and few and far between, I tend to switch hats from "writer at large" to "shameless (self) promoter" as the market winds blow. So I have taken some time, perhaps one could call it a "sabatical" but I have not had an ounce of free time during that time, it's just been more work behind the scenes instead of center spotlight.
I had an unfortionate falling out with someone over this misconception of my free time. That because I often take time to enjoy the daytime hours, run errands, visit some people, take a mid day matinee, etc. That I could be spending that time helping them for next to nothing. I feel bad for the way certian people reacted, but I wonder if this is common for most "less-than-well-known" authors?
Also on more than one occasion I will get some random person that will see me out and about on my random "clear the cobwebs" moments and ask "are you working yet?" The implication being "at a real job, like me." to which my usual response is "I'm a freelancer so I am always working on something!" and oft times I get a puzzled look and a response of "oh, you're still doing that?"
Like I said, it's not a majority of people you run into. I am fortunate enough to live in an artist community, so most everyone in my general area live from their creations, be it writting, art, film, etc. But when I venture outward to "the real world" I am often met with some very odd assumptions or questions.
Does this ever happen to you? What do you usually say?
Before I sign off I would like to thank everyone who follows my redroom blog over on Facebook and via RSS feeds! I will try to make a more posts on a regular basis and hopefully you will continue to enjoy my random blatherings. I still want to put together something on comic creation in the 21st century but unsure whether to do it as a blog or an article.