Tuesday, November 27, 2012

That's a wrap

Check out my "30 Days of Freelancing" series on Forbes:
At some point, I read a quote from Andy Warhol that I loved:
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

Monday, November 26, 2012


Head, Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Are you following my "30 Days of Freelancing" series on Forbes?

It's like a marathon, and I'm a sprinter.

Check it out.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I get email

Hello my name is [redacted]. I live in [redacted] Florida. I have done under the table work for an escort service that one of my buddies work for. I have been there a few months but would love to start a new adventurous career in the porn industry. I love to meet new people. Im pretty well put and out spoken. Im experienced in my field whether call it a field of work which it is. If u know of anybody that can help me become the person i wanna be i promise that i will not let u down. Im a great man to my word and i have a loving family to look after. My email is [redacted] Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mannequin man

Mannequin Man, Chicago, Illinois

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hey, lonely freelancer

I spent some time this week interviewing freelancers about what they like and don't like about their jobs. The results are pretty interesting.

My favorite answer I used in the title: "You Are All Alone." I think that's the hardest part about freelancing: the isolation.

I also liked this:
“Be kind. Don’t be a drama queen. Show up on time and do the work without complaining. Ask questions. Be honest and direct. Ignore the comment section. Trust your editors. Make sure you get everything (money-wise) in writing. And again: be kind, be kind, be kind.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I got this painting by Chris Bishop. The title is "Bad Memory." It's really awesome.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I get email

Would you like to do a piece for your forbes column? I got a memoir on work as a regulator in the funeral industry and an engineer as well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mannequin close up

Mannequin, Chicago, Illinois

Monday, November 12, 2012

7 habits

Freelancer? Independent contractor? I've got "7 Habits of Highly Effective Freelancers":
4. Diversify yourself.
I’m a journalist. I’m a pundit. I’m a copywriter. I’m a photographer. I’m a blogger. Who are you today?

Friday, November 9, 2012


Over at my Forbes blog I'm doing a series called "30 Days of Freelancing." If you can't figure out what it is, for 30 days, I'm blogging about freelancing.

Probably the hardest thing about doing it is that I have to post every day. This means you have to do it. You can't not feel like it.

Of course, this is what's good about it -- it forces you to go places you might not go otherwise.

Here's an excerpt from Day 8:
TIP #2: Don’t mix metaphors.
I spend approximately 10 minutes of my weekly 50 minute therapy session discussing the aforementioned issue.
“I want to stop burning bridges,” I tell my shrink. I rattle off a list of bridges I’ve burned over the years.
My shrink tells me that my problem isn’t burning bridges; it’s that I’m not swinging for the fences.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I've got a new interview up on Interviews with Johns: "The Correctional Officer."
What’s the relationship between your work and visiting escorts?

I’m not sure there is a relationship. Obviously, after swearing an oath to uphold the law and avoid behaving in any way that would bring the [redacted] into disrepute, I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. But let’s be clear, I started doing this long before I started working in law enforcement. My job is something I do a few days a week. Outside of that, I could care less about law enforcement.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Smiling woman

Smiling Woman, Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I get email

You beast.  You lovely monster.  The three-headed gatekeeper of dreamlands.  I'm tempted to run from your nasty spell and cry myself silly until I don't believe in you anymore.  But you have seduced me with your conviction.  There is no arguing with your fervor.
My wife just came in and saw that paragraph and I'm sure freaked out a tiny bit as she calmly asked, "Who are you writing?"

I quickly explained how I read your article about why not to be a writer and how powerful and terrifying it was and that I needed to write you for my own sake and that it was not a love letter.  

She said as she smiled sweetly, "I know."

What does she know?  That I shouldn't be a writer?  That she thinks it's cute that I'm playing my writing games on the computer late at night?  That it actually is a love letter but not to susannahbreslin@gmail.com but to myself?

Well thank you Susannah Breslin for sliding a broken plate full of rusty knife points and dirty glass shards onto my seat cushion just as I was sitting down.

You are absolutely right.  I shouldn't be a writer.    
And yet, who should?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Dear Johns

While Letters from Johns is no longer active, I've recently launched Interviews with Johns.

So far, I've heard from a site reliability engineer:
There was a lot of overlap with business travel. Earlier when I was at a startup, I was’t dating at all and was working 80-100 hours weeks, it just seemed easier. 
And a teacher:
I answered an ad on an escort site. This was before Craigslist or Backpage. She was an olde lady in a trailer park who walked me through the process. It was fun, but not hot. I forgot to pay her I was so on edge. I drove back to give her the money and she was really nice about that too.
If you're interested in being interviewed by email -- it's anonymous -- you can email me at susannahbreslin at gmail.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Diary of a freelancer

I'll be doing a new series on my Forbes blog this month: "30 Days of Freelancing."

I decided to do the series for a couple of reasons.

1) I didn't feel like I was getting enough done, and I wanted to get a bit more meta about the process.

2) I was focusing on getting less done, and I wanted a forum where I could explore that.

Those two things seem contradictory, but this is the nature of human existence.
Have you heard of the slow food movement? It’s part of the slow movement. Apparently, there’s something called the slow work movement. Pete Bacevice is its philosopher.

I decide I’m a recovering workaholic. The slow work movement will be my Alcoholics Anonymous. I will take 30 days to become a slower worker.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why men pay for it

Yesterday, I posted that I was reading Chester Brown's Paying for It. Basically, it's an autobiographical graphic novel about how Brown paid prostitutes for sex.

I think I got it yesterday in the mail and finished it last night. Generally speaking, I didn't really like it.

Mostly, it's depressing. Which isn't to say it's not accurate. I got the sense it was very accurate. Brown kept a diary of when he did who, and that's the structure that guides the narrative.

But Brown is a nerd/robot, and because of that, you don't get -- well, I was going to say, much in the way of feeling, but really you don't get any feeling at all.

Brown feels kind of dead.

Dead to me. To him, I think he feels like himself. He's very mechanical. Logical. Thorough.

But it's sort of like watching someone fuck a hole in the wall.

You get glimpses of the women, who are mostly disguised -- by speech bubbles over their faces or the absence of specific details -- but not a lot.

Mostly, I felt like the book read like a polemic that was pretending to be a diary. Brown is a fan of the legalization of prostitution. Which is fine. I don't have a problem with that.

There's a lot about his troubles with love, but in the end, it's like his real issue is a lack of ... passion.

Which left me feeling like I ate a sandwich with nothing in it. 

Aesthetically, I loved it. It's all tiny boxes, and little opaque people, and the sex scenes are like a sperm trying to penetrate an egg. I liked the way it looked the best.