DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a freelance producer, and I have struggled a lot with finding enough work. This year has been different. I have had quite a few small jobs, and I am grateful for them. The problem is that it is hard to keep track of small projects when they overlap. I scheduled a short vacation this summer, but then I got a gig and had to do the prep work during my vacation. My boyfriend was mad because he took off work from his 9-to-5 and expected me to do the same. I wanted to, but I worry about turning down work when I remember so well that a year ago I had none. How do I manage this new reality? -- Freelancer Blues
DEAR FREELANCER BLUES: If you intend to remain a freelance producer, it is in your best interest to make it clear to your boyfriend how your schedule works. While it may be possible for you to take time off completely, it is not wrong for you to stay on-call during vacation when you are just coming out of a work drought. Talk to him about the realities of time management when you work for yourself and are beholden to a variety of clients. Make sure he is comfortable with your work style, and you with his. Otherwise, your relationship is destined for ongoing conflict.