This post doesn’t contain any The Walking Dead season 8 spoilers. We can’t say the same for previous seasons, so be forewarned.
If your freelancer habits were a TWD character, who would they be? From Carol to Carl, every TWD character has specific skills, endearing character traits and some pretty massive flaws. Yes, even Maggie isn’t perfect — and even Negan has at least one positive attribute. Was there ever a TWD villain you loved to hate more? (Plus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s got a pretty spectacular smile, so there’s a second positive.)
These positives and negatives, when mixed with the come-and-go threat of zombies and more angst than you can shake a teenager at, make a beautiful(?), grisly, frustrating thing many of us enjoy from our couches every Sunday night during the season. And by enjoy, I mean “yell at a lot and then discuss heatedly on social media.” Why not take some of what we learn and languish over regarding The Walking Dead and apply those lessons to our freelance lives?
Read on to discover your TWD freelancer type and what the character might have to teach you.
Freelancer Rick: Taking the hardest way possible through every project
Rick takes the hardest road to any destination, and he’s pretty good at denial. In a freelancer, this can mean putting off a project you know you should be working on until you’re forced into sacrificing sleep and running on caffeine and popcorn. After barely making the deadline, you even look like post-terrible-event Rick: red eyes, gaunt face and a walk that’s more a zombie shuffle.
The good news: You get that project done better than anyone else. There’s a reason those people keep following Rick, even after all the wrong roads he’s led them down.
The lesson: Don’t put off what you think is a hard or unpleasant task. It’s never as bad as you think it is (in the freelancer world, not in the TWD world, where everything is really that bad).
Freelancer Carl: Perfecting your talent by learning from others
Carl’s got enough post-apocalypse chops to impress Negan and keep himself alive, but remember when he was kind of a brat that wouldn’t stay in the house? He’s learned a lot from those around him and his own experience over the years, and many freelancers can relate. For many of us, this gig came with little former training and we’re picking it up survival style as we go.
The good news: Some of the most talented writers are self-taught, and there’s no tutor like necessity.
The lesson: One of Carl’s weaknesses is that he sometimes forgets there’s more to learn. As a freelancer, never think you can’t improve or learn something new.
Freelancer Negan: Never met a project you couldn’t bang into shape
Negan doesn’t deal with people who don’t fall in line. That’s what Lucille is for. Negan freelancers come in all shapes and sizes — some even have virtual charisma. And while you might get the job done as freelancer Negan, you’re probably not making friends. While writers can be Negans, editors often take on this persona out of frustration or a genuine desire to ensure the client gets good work.
The good news: A little Negan goes a long way. Simply bringing out your version of Lucille can help other freelancers understand the seriousness of requirements or ensure clients realize you did mean 30 days net. But we don’t need to actually hit things.
The lesson: Too much Lucille and people will revolt. Or find another freelancer.
Freelancer Glenn: Hopelessly out of date on best practices or instructions
Glenn’s not keeping up with the program these days, and for good reason. He’s dead. (No, it’s not too soon. That was an entire season ago.) Sure, most people loved Glenn, and if you’re moving into a different career entirely, there’s something to be said for being the freelancer everyone liked who no longer freelances.
Otherwise, there’s really no good news here.
The lesson: Read industry content and keep up-to-date on writer forums, or you’ll find yourself missing out on the best projects. Or getting knocked around by a Negan.
Freelancer Carol: The mother-hen other freelancers flock to
Carol’s always taking care of someone. Freelancer Carol is the writer or editor who takes extra time to help colleagues or who shares lucrative leads because someone else would enjoy the opportunity too. If you spend time on a forum explaining projects to others — sans any compensation — this may be your TWD freelance type.
The good news: Everyone seems to flock to Carol even when she does the wrong thing. As a freelancer, this earns you some goodwill points and can even help you land extra work.
The lesson: Sometimes Carol spends so much time worrying about others, she ends up in a dark funk and on a solitary quest. Help others, but don’t let yourself burn out.
Freelancer Maggie: Always in charge of a thing, even when you try not to be
You know what Maggie probably wasn’t thinking back on that farm? “One day I’m going to be a soldier, a politician and a leader of men.” But she always seems to find herself in a leading role. Many freelancers aren’t looking for leadership either — many quit traditional jobs to get away from that type of position. Freelancer Maggies can’t quite escape it, though, and find themselves being called upon to head up work, mentor others or take on more difficult projects.
The good news: Maggie does always tend to come out as stable as you can in a zombie war zone. And Freelancer Maggies tend to have their pick of work opportunities, even when the well is drying for others.
The lesson: Maggie had to make a hard decision to leave Rick’s group and stay at Hilltop Colony. As a freelancer, you may need to learn when to say no and when to accept new responsibilities. Remember: you can’t do everything.
Let’s face it. None of us are this.