Freelancers are not mercenaries. Got it? But I dig the military terminology, which makes me want to shave my head, listen to heavy metal music and scream 'Hoo Yah' every time I get a new tweet.
In fact, sometimes freelancers work for nothing. Log knows, I do. In fact, I haven't been paid yet, although I've had 11 feature stories published. There's two in the pipeline, of which one is due to be delivered without payment because the editor snagged a media pass to a conference and offered it to me.
I want to be paid for the other one, but does anyone have ANY idea how hard it is to secure payment for a story when you're just starting out as a journalist?
Nope, didn't think so.
I'll tell you how hard it is. It's stand-on-one-foot-and-hop-for-five-kilometres hard. It's squeeze-a-blackhead-when-your-fingernails-are-wrapped-in-band-aids hard.
It's frightfully hard, chaps.
But I won't buckle. I just called an editor who told me that his freelance budget had been cut to zero last year. Am I going to cravenly offer the story to him for nothing but a by-line in his esteemed rag? Nope.
Good for me.