Many of these perpetual adaptive workers view their own sustainability at this point in time
as fine but have seen significant reductions. They are contemplating their next move and
this will be explored in “The Takeaway: Freelancers’ Sustainability Includes Rethinking Their
Work Style Possibilities” at the end of this chapter.
Would Gladly Trade Freedom For Dental; Freelancers Are Attentive to
jimi izrael, a nationally recognized columnist and commentator on NPR’s the Barbershop,
comments on the sustainability issue:
There just isn’t enough money. It’s a lot of work. I feel lucky with these
circumstances. I can make my own work or work comes to me. It could be worse.
No work could be coming and I’d be really fucked up.
jimi comments that he enjoys the freedom of the freelance life but candidly quips, “I’d gladly
trade some freedom for dental.” The lack of affordable medical coverage is a growing
concern for freelancers when you consider that over 30 percent of the adult population is
self-employed according to the Freelancers Union.
As mentioned earlier, jimi has experienced a 60-percent decline in the past four years in
terms of income and notes, “. . .I’m making a really average salary versus at one point I was
making six figures.” Recently remarried, jimi is looking for a teaching position and is also
moving more into the scriptwriting realm. He continues to work on his independent
When it comes to journalistic writing, the rates have declined but screenwriting is a venue
where the returns are higher as Alan McElroy illustrates, but clearly compromised as
Need to Clear A Million To Make $150,000
Alan McElroy, a screenwriter with a recent lucrative six-figure deal, addresses the increased
competition level and how that has changed industry rates:
In the last few years, it has drawn a lot more people. In the late 80’s, screenwriters
became very powerful. Shane Black was pulling in millions of dollars for