Thursday, February 28, 2008

Recession R Us

SmileyCentral.comWhen I called to wish her a happy 50th last night, DZ and I talked at length about the effect of recessions on freelancers. We're the canaries in the mineshaft of the U.S. economy. Even before things started to look bleak nationwide, our average earnings dropped precipitously as school publishers cut fees and dialed back on projects. Last year was my worst financially since 1991-1992. Of course, in 1991-1992, my mortgage was significantly less than it is now, as were my electric and oil bills, my grocery bills, and the price of gasoline. I even had one guy try to get me to work for free last week, citing budgetary woes. In response, I quoted him my hourly rate, which is the same hourly rate I've charged for 15 years. I haven't heard back from him.

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