A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Writer And Stand-Up Comedian

Me making $0. Photo credit: Jennifer Walkowiak

12:30 a.m. Wake up to the sound of barking. Take the dog you’re sitting outside even though you just took her out two hours ago. Give her a treat, which is all she wanted to begin with.

5:15 a.m. Wake up to the sound of barking. Take the dog you’re sitting outside again. What the fuck.

8:30 a.m. Wake up to the sound of barking. You meant to wake up earlier, but since you had to get up so many times in the middle of the night, you accidentally slept in. Feed the dog you’re sitting.

8:45 a.m. Drink coffee while you check your email. You have several job alerts. Apply to two writing jobs you know you’d be perfect for but will never hear back from.

9 a.m. Make a smoothie and think about making more coffee.

9:10 a.m. Check your bank account.

9:15 a.m. Panic.

9:20 a.m. Start writing a piece for the humor website you co-edit and love dearly but make no money off of whatsoever.

9:30 a.m. Walk the dog you’re sitting.

9:45 a.m. Realize you don’t have time for more coffee. Get ready to Pilates.

10:00 a.m. Go to Pilates. Fuck, you got there too late and all the exercise balls are gone. Run on the treadmill instead. Realize that’s actually what you needed, to sprint off some of your anxiety at the risk of re-injuring your calf muscle.

10:30 a.m. Bike to your first dog walk.

11:00 a.m. Walk your first dog. She’s a puppy so it’ll take a while.

11:30 a.m. Play with the puppy. Warning: every time you look at your phone she’ll try to eat either it or your hand.

12:00 p.m. Feed the puppy and bike to your next dog walk.

12:15 p.m. Your next dog is happy to see you, but that doesn’t mean he wants to put his harness on.

12:30 p.m. Walk the dog after finally getting his harness on. Warning: he may pull your arm clean off of your body.

12:45 p.m. Bring the dog home and leave before he realizes what’s happening and gets angry. Bike home.

1 p.m. Walk the dog you’re sitting. Warning: she’s going to punish you for leaving so you’ll have to walk her for a while before she goes to the bathroom.

1:15 p.m. Finally shower.

1:30 p.m. Make lunch even though you really don’t have time for it. Yesterday you didn’t get to eat lunch, but today you deserve it. Briefly consider picking lunch up somewhere before your next dog walk before realizing it would cost half your day’s salary.

1:45 p.m. Bike to your other puppy.

2 p.m. Take the puppy in her backyard and make sure she goes to the bathroom. Let her chew on some sticks.

2:30 p.m. Take the puppy back inside and play with her. Warning: if you stop playing with her for literally one second she will lunge at you and literally bite your neck.

3 p.m. Try to finish writing that piece for your website. Warning: the puppy will not let you work.

3:15 p.m. Think about reading submissions for your humor site. Get bitten.

3:30 p.m. Give up on work after accomplishing nothing because the puppy kept trying to jump on your keyboard. Play with the puppy.

3:45 p.m. Give up on playing with the puppy and give her what she really wants: your shoes.

4 p.m. Leave the puppy and bike to your next dog. Hurry up because you’re late!

4:15 p.m. Walk your favorite dog. Because you love her so much, you wish you could amble through the park with her at a slow pace, allowing her to chase every squirrel and every bird and marveling at how blonde certain patches of her fur are when the sunlight catches them just right. But you don’t have time for that, bitch! You’ve got to get her back home!

4:30 p.m. Take your precious little puppy home and let her cuddle on your lap for a minute before you savagely put her back in her crate and leave her all alone in that big apartment. Bike back home.

4:45 p.m. Try to appease the dog you’re sitting. She’s angry because you left her alone in a strange house all afternoon. Cuddle with her until you can convince her to go out.

5 p.m. Walk the dog you’re sitting. It better be a long one because she’s still fucking pissed.

5:30 p.m. Do your dishes. Wash one plate before realizing that fuck, you actually don’t have time to do the dishes.

5:40 p.m. Feed the dog you’re sitting. Run out before she realizes what’s happening because once she does, she’s going to be PISSED. Get on the G train, you’re late for an open mic.

6:10 p.m. You’re late for an open mic, but luckily they just started. Fuck, even though they haven’t called a single name yet, they insist on putting yours in the late bucket.

6:15 p.m. Decide that, even though you won’t be able to get up, you may as well sit at this open mic and watch for a while. Think about how nice it feels to finally sit.

7 p.m. Put on your big ass backpack (oh yeah, I forgot to mention you’ve been carrying a big ass backpack since 5:40) and walk to the train.

7:15 p.m. Take the train to the comedy show you host.

7:45 p.m. Arrive at the comedy show you host. Unpack the big ass backpack you’re carrying, which contains all of the equipment for the show including lights, microphones and an extremely heavy mic stand.

8 p.m. Set up for your show.

8:15 p.m. No one is here for your show.

8:30 pm. Try not to panic because no one is here for your show and it’s supposed to start right now.

8:45 p.m. It would be nice if at least one of the comics were here for your show.

9 p.m. Two of the comics have arrived. Wonder if you should start the show even though the only audience members are your sister and your boyfriend.

9:15 p.m. Start the show after a third comic arrives.

9:30 p.m. An hour after it was supposed to begin, your show is suddenly packed.

10 p.m. Perform 5 minutes of stand-up comedy on your very own show that you host, produce, promote and honestly work really fucking hard on. Spend your entire set feeling guilty that you’re taking up so much time.

10:30 p.m. Your show is over. It ended up being great!

10:35 p.m. Pay each of the comics for doing the show. Unfortunately, you only made $9 tonight, which is a small and difficult amount to split between 6 people.

10:45 p.m. Clean up the room and pack up your gear while everyone else mills around being social.

11 p.m. Leave to catch the bus. Hurry up or you’ll miss it!

11:02 p.m. Miss the bus because your backpack is so heavy you can’t run.

11:05 p.m. Walk to the train.

11:15 p.m. Wait for the train.

11:25 p.m. Continue to wait for the train.

11:30 p.m. Get on the train. Realize it’s running express. Get off the train.

11:35 p.m. Wait for the next train.

11:40 p.m. Get on the next train.

11:50 p.m. Get off the train and walk home.

12:00 a.m. Walk into your apartment, put your bag down and cry because you got almost nothing done today, didn’t even have time to post anything on your beloved website and made only $40. Wonder if you’re going to be a broke ass dog walker forever. Cry harder.

12:05 a.m. Walk the dog you’re sitting.

12:15 a.m. Eat a few spoonfuls of peanut butter for dinner. Go to bed immediately because you’re physically and emotionally exhausted and you have to do it all again tomorrow.

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