Monday, July 07, 2008

A milestone approaches

Some time today I'll hit 10,000 page impressions on this blog. For many that'll be nothing - they probably get that many in a day, but this has been a slow burner - although I do seem to have my regular lurkers who come back again and again to see whatever inane drivel I'm putting up here. Someone was on the blog for 30 minutes + last night.....although they may just have been looking for examples of how not to blog!

Anyway, 10,000 is a milestone for me and is lifting my spirits a little on a wet and miserable Monday when the work ahead of me just feels like total slog.

I got a project out of the blue a couple of weeks ago - I still don't know who recommended me - and actually am wondering if it should have been destined for some other 'Leapfrog'. I'm already busy, so didn't actually need the work, but 'freelancer fear' kicked in. While Jac's busily communicating the delights of timber on a long term contract, I've lost a piece of work recently. Weirdly I'd already compensated for its loss before I even picked up this new project - but that fear of never quite knowing where the next mortgage payment will come from led me to take on what appeared to be a fairly straightforward edit/rewrite piece.

However, for me at least, it's becoming a bit of a nightmare - not helped by the fact I've now had a dodgy stomach for the past five days, and it's showing no signs of settling down.

I'm very confident about writing for the web. And, over the past couple of years have delivered half a dozen sizable projects for different HR departments. In each case the writing has been factually correct ; has worked within the medium and has conveyed a real sense of personality. In short, it has engaged the audience. That's what I'm trying to do on this latest project. But on one hand, at heart, the content providers don't really want to change anything, while the web developers want to impose a style so strict that the result looks like a set of airfix model instructions. They're used to publishing soulless procedural information - and what I'm giving them is a rather different animal. It's guidance on change management, an area where there's no 'right' answer, and this copy has to press buttons with people.

At the moment, I'm in the middle, and I'm not happy. In fact if they turned around and sacked me from the project, I'd probably be happier. Wishful thinking perhaps, and I'll do all I can this week to give them what they want. But I don't feel comfortable and am kicking myself for signing up for something that really doesn't sit in my talent set.

It's the old 'why have a dog and bark yourself?' I'm probably too emotionally involved and should just take the money and run. In business it does little good to cut off your nose to spite yourself.

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