Tag Archives: freelance

Tax Day

“I’ve made a horrible mistake.”

This is the first thing I said to the UPS Store clerk when I walked in 15 minutes before closing on April 17.

I’d just finished my taxes. And I needed help.

 

I didn’t care that he wasn’t a CPA. I didn’t care that this wasn’t the post office. I needed a government official. An authority figure. And he was the closest I could find.

“I’ve made a horrible mistake,” I repeated. “Several, actually.”

He laughed. Asked me what I did, what I needed.

“I think I need to print my returns, but I’m not sure. Do you think I need to print them?”

He shrugged.

“I submitted them online, but it told me to print something and mail it in. That seems ridiculous. Do you think that seems ridiculous?”

He shrugged again.

“I feel like I’m missing something. Do you think I’m missing something?”

“Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve never done my taxes myself,” he admitted.

While I was not attracted to this man, this struck me as an immediate turn off. I like my men independent. Self sufficient. Smart enough to do their own taxes and fuck up their own taxes like a responsible adult. Certainly, I should have never been allowed to start mine without a CPA present. But still. What a little bitch ass.

“I have a voucher. I owe a million dollars. Not a millions dollars. But a lot. This is my first time being self-employed,” I gushed. I tend to over-share when I’m nervous.

“I think you just need to mail that voucher,” he said. “Want me to print it?”

I emailed him the voucher and he handed me a blank envelope.

“Here. Start addressing this while I go print your stuff in the back,” he said.

I studied his face. At this point, I was certain I’d be going away for 10 to 15. And though I knew prison would change me, I hoped I’d be kind enough to thank his little bitch ass when I got out.

When he came back, I handed him the finished envelope.

“I spelled Cincinnati wrong. Do you think they’ll take it?”

“Yeah, probably,” he said.

“Cool,” I responded, as if the envelope didn’t include a check for my entire bank account.

He stamped my letter, dropped it in the mail bin and charged me for his services.

“Thanks for your help,” I said, picking up the credit cards, Euros and receipts I’d strewn about in the chaos.

“You’re welcome. Hey. Good luck, man,” he added ominously.

I studied his face again. He knew something, this government official.

Yeah. I’m going away for a long time.

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A Freelance Writer’s Style Guide

After making strides as a beauty blogger, I’ve decided to try my hand at fashion blogging. It’s a logical move for me. People always ask about my wardrobe. In fact just last week, my roommate opened my closet and said, “Jo, where are all your clothes?”

I’ve decided to launch my fashion empire with this: Dressing for Success: A Freelance Writer’s Style Guide. But before I show you what a successful freelance writer wears, I’ll tell you what she does:

I start my day the way any go-getter would: at 9:30 a.m., with a cup of coffee, a protein shake and 1-2 episodes of Jersey Shore.

Once I’m good and caffeinated, I open my laptop and get to work. I respond to emails, apply for jobs, work on freelance projects and harass people for more of them.

I check the clock. It’s nearly lunch time. I break from work and dedicate the next 45 minutes or so to my studies. Last week, I taught myself how to French braid. Yesterday, I researched Jersey Shore: Where Are They Now? Today, I read up on sporadic incontinence in cats.

Around 2:00, it’s time for lunch. I make a beautiful spread. As I eat, I pretend the cats are my coworkers and the kitchen is my canteen.

After lunch, I consider showering. I decide against it. Dirty hair is easier to French braid, anyways. So I wash my face and brush my teeth as a make-good to the hygiene gods. I change out of my day wear and into my active wear. Sometimes, I go for a walk. Sometimes, I go for a run. The variety is, without a doubt, overwhelming.

And with that, I present my day-wear or, as I call it, My 4-Point Uniform for Freelance Success!

 

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Lounge pants (from my sister), “virgin” t-shirt (from my mom), open toe Ugg boots (from high school), and an oversized cat sweatshirt (custom-made).

You’ll notice I like to mix patterns and textures. My lounge pants are a fine, silky blend, whereas my sweater is a mix of felt, cotton and googly eyes.

I also employ a mix of blues and greens. I find that cooler hues make my four-day-old hair pop in a way warmer colors can’t.

Finally, on my feet, I don a trade secret we in the industry have kept hush for years. They’re called Uggs (but you didn’t hear it from me 😉 !) Everyone styles them differently – over the pants, under the pants, rolled and then pulled over the pants – but I find them most comfortable with a little hole just above the left big toe.

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Toe flow.