March Freelance Lunch Report

My first freelance lunch: smoked salmon, rosti, crème fraiche, baby greens with something balsamic-y, double espresso. My usual freelance lunch: often something grazed - last night's leftovers straight from the tub, or several episodes of tea and toast (toppings vary) occurring intermittently between 10.30am and 1.30pm - or often foregone due to laziness or absent-mindedness, leading me to commit mild to moderate acts of hanger when my partner returns at the end of the day. In other words, a midweek lunch at The Fitz Cafe was a treat. As I locked my pushie to a valet-quality signpost directly outside the entrance to the venue on Brunswick St, I felt like a lady of leisure indeed.

Twenty-five freelancers attended the freelance lunch on the fourth of last month, the best turnout so far, and the atmosphere in the restaurant was welcoming and lively. On the tables I saw teacups, notebooks, pens, scribbled-upon paper napkins, tumblers of iced water, gesturing hands. On the freelancers I saw dresses, lipstick, one bowtie and intense discussion-faces. There was smiling, too. Especially when I sat down at a four-top with people I'd never met and said, 'Hi, I'm Alison, and I'm a freelance editor'. Considering the fact that freelance editors can sometimes be seen as a group of socially awkward solitary pedants, I was nervous about striking up small talk - Serial comma, yes or no, ready... go! - but the conversation was easy, plentiful and enjoyable. I even had the opportunity to properly meet some editors who previously had existed only for me as Google avatars, senders and receivers of emails, and notifications in my inbox.

The freelance lunch is a fantastic way to get together with people who do what you do and care about some of the things you care about - the sneaky second 'r' in barbiturate, the intrusiveness of a spaced em dash, the complete disbelief when a client somehow vanishes before they've managed to pay. It was great opportunity for all to network, brain-pick and socialise. I got home feeling rejuvenated and full, and when my partner came home I greeted him like a balanced human being and we had leftovers for dinner.

Alison Strumberger

The next Editors Victoria Freelance Lunch will be held at the same venue (The Fitz Cafe in Fitroy) on Thursday 14 May.