freelancer: a word to (re)learn

free·lance /ˈfriˌlæns, -ˌlɑns, -ˈlæns, -ˈlɑns/ noun, verb, -lanced, -lanc·ing, adjective, adverb
–noun Also, free lance.
1. Also, freelancer: a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.
2. a person who contends in a cause or in a succession of various causes, as he or she chooses, without personal attachment or allegiance.

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As a writer, I, along with a few friend-colleagues (of whom brainoiz is the first to come to mind as an example indeed) have always – ever since the Bíborhold/Holdtölte vs Valhalla case – aimed at maintaining freelancing status among the ‘warring’ publishers of our little country. I’m proud to say we’ve been rather successful in this field, remaining freelance, that is, and that the cleverest bosses of these conflicts have always respected us as such, and after a feeble attempt or two always gave up trying to “samurize” us, choosing instead to try and use more and more of our creative resources with more and more engaging commissions. My paid job with DV – as a designer, mind you, not as a writer – unbalanced this somewhat in my case, for even though it’s two pretty different fields, writing and designing, it’s not easy to separate them when they’re pursued by the very same person…

Yet now it seems like I’m back in full freelancing status, and, fortunately, so far everyone’s willing to accept that – for which I’m really glad, and hope that this trend will continue, and not just in my case. Bosses need to understand that we are not soldiers for their wars. We – if I want to keep up this metaphor of Sir Walter Scott’s of free-lancing and wars – are intellectual arms dealers and manufacturers instead, who can support them all with “ammunition”, and the more they order, the better quality they get… But we leave the warring for the market and on the market to them and to their marketing and editorial people. It’s our works that they can buy and send to fight, if they like them, not us. We freelancers like to stay friends with one another in general, and those who try to divide us sooner or later come to… well, rethink their ways.

And amen to that. :)

Yeah, this has been, in a sense, my report from the meeting at EFOTT, for which I’d like to thank Bea and her friends. We really had a good time: good questions, good people, good beer, good discussions and good laughs… and a few hidden and bitter conflicts that nobody seems to have liked for real. Well, let’s hope it was so. In this post I’m refusing my Mr. Hyde and will just stay positive. Which is a rare occasion, mind you… ;)

PS: You’ll note (if you’re a Hungarian reader, or one with working knowledge of the Hungarian sf/f publishing industry), with a touch of sarcasm perhaps, how close the meaning of the word freelancer is to the word zsoldos… ;P

Update: lebuktunk, {brainoiz} meg én valójában egyetlen entitás vagyunk, egyenesen Doktor Totenkopf felrobbant klóntartályából — szinte egyszerre postolunk ugyanarról)

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