Freelance diary, week 6

Posted on 8 August 2020 in:

The end

As I mentioned last week, this entry is the last I’ll be adding to this weekly freelance-work wrap-up series. The projects that I’ve been writing about over the past month-and-a-half have mostly been anonymous, as they have all been contributions to larger projects that may not be complete for some time. This makes my reports about them vague and dull, for which I apologize. It also means that I cannot take the opportunity yet to publicly thank all the people who’ve hired me in the weeks since my last full-time job ended. But if any of you are reading this, you know who you are. Thank you very, very much. I hope that we can continue to work with each other in the future, in some capacity or another.

Project updates

  1. Long-term research project: I was on-site working on this for four days this week.
  2. Potential second long-term research project: This is on hold for a while, I think.
  3. Typeface description for a client: Waiting for feedback before I write more.
  4. Overdue marketing text for a website: No progress this week, either. I am a toad!
  5. Work I provide to others at no cost: We like to say that we only work for money and not “exposure,” but this is not true. I spent about six hours this week on a paper that I hope will … burnish my professional reputation?!
  6. Change health insurance payment details: Still waiting to hear back about how much I’ll have to pay for July and August.

What did I do this week?


Spent part of the morning with an article I had submitted back in May that needed edits before it could go to peer review. Made all the requested edits. Reformatted the bibliographic details in my footnotes to conform with the publication’s style guide.


Finished up my edits to that article and sent it back to the editor. Otherwise, I did not do any work today. I justified this by telling myself that I had done “enough” work on Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Worked on-site for my “long-term research project.” I was with about thirty bound type specimens volumes for five-and-a-half hours each day, measuring them and trying to determine an exact date of production (or a possible date range) for each one.


  1. Same deal as Tuesday and Wednesday.
  2. Turned down an invitation to speak at a virtual design conference. This kind of thing is just not for me, at least not at this present time in my life or career. I don’t see the return on the time invested in this sort of thing. They just don’t feel like “in-person” conferences at all. Maybe I’m becoming an old fuddy-duddy, but that’s the way it is. I already decided that submitting a proposal to this year’s virtual ATypI conference was not for me a few weeks ago, and that was a really painful decision to make.
  3. Went to the Grunewald cemetery, where Hermann Berthold had been buried after his death in 1904. I think that his physical remains are still in the earth there, but his grave memorial has been removed. Not sure how I feel about this.
  4. Proofread an English-language text a regular client sent me earlier in the week. Returned the text with my comments.


  1. Friday was the hottest day of the year in Berlin to date, and getting work done was difficult. You scoff, dear reader, but it is not easy to keep large beads of sweat from dripping off of your forehead and onto historical documents as you sit inside a reading room whose walls are entirely made of glass.
  2. In the morning, my wife and I met with our property attorney. We have an apartment in Berlin that we will rent out once we move to Krefeld, and we book a consultation with him to discuss the in’s and out’s of rental leases.
  3. After lunch, I was working on my “long-term research project” again, all while trying not to sweat onto priceless bits of history.
  4. At 5 pm I rode across the city for meeting with a photographer in Charlottenburg. He is putting a book together that I contributed a text to. I submitted the text about seven weeks ago and got to look at it in the layout, which was super fun. I also was invited to make some suggestions for a few small illustrations that might be added to the book. Great way to end the workday. There were three people in this meeting; we sat at great enough distances to each other, and wore masks during the entire meeting (except when sipping water, because … well, it was just too hot of a day).


Friday was the hottest day of the year in Berlin to date, but that was a record it was not able to hold onto for long. Saturday was even hotter. I gave up the idea of doing any work today at all. I did work on the text for this blog post, though.

What’s planned for next week?

Next week – as well as the week after that, and the next week thereafter – will pretty much have a consistent daily rhythm. I’ll spend most of each workday on-site as part of the “long-term research project” I have on deck. With each week, there will be more things to take care of before I move to Krefeld at the beginning of September.

Footer of Shame

That overdue marketing text that I should have delivered back in May is still overdue, and I did not touch it this week at all. Maybe next week!