Final Exit, or "Win A Chance To Meet Gary Coleman…The Hard Way"

A lot of famous people have died recently. Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, Rue McClanahan...they graced this earth with their presence, and I'm sorry to see them go. I may not know these people that well, but it still makes me sad. Even worse - they'll never find anyone good enough to replace them on Iron Chef.

But let's not dwell on that. Instead, let's think about how YOU'RE going to die.

You see, once you become afraid of death like I have, you'll finally realize that everything in your life will probably kill you. Sometimes it's intentional, sometimes it's a "happy accident", but eventually that lawnmower WILL catch up, and then it's game over. Just think about all those people who never realize their John Deere might actually be a Charles Manson.

However, as a freelance writer, a fear of death can be beneficial. You've worked long and hard to get here - do you want all that snatched away just because some punk sniper wants to make chili out of your head? That simple reality is why freelance writers need to preserve their legacy. Nobody else will do it. You'll never see a special on the Discovery Channel called, "Finding the Secrets of a Demand Studios Diva."

Remember...you have the average lifespan of tissue paper. Make sure you're ready when it's time to get blown away.

  • Save your vital documents. Invoices, expenses, tax information...store it all in a secure place. Metal boxes are ideal, but since you earn a freelance writer's income, the next alternative is a Ziploc bag. This way, when you go bungee jumping and the cord snaps in freefall, at least your husband will know how much money you saved by skipping the bungee club's "premium offer".
  • Create a survival plan for your family. Your upcoming death may free you from mortal concerns, but your family still has to press on until their deaths roll around. Make sure you've got a plan to keep your family on their feet. You may be the one dying here, but they don't have to suffer for it. They've got enough problems to deal with, like recovering from the MTV Movie Awards.
  • Mentally prepare for the worst. A big part of dealing with your swift demise is accepting all the ways it could happen. Gunshot to the face? Easy. Devoured by a moutain lion who also needed milk at Wal-Mart? No problem. Imagine each death you can suffer and tell yourself, "If I die this way, I'm totally okay with it." This must be done no matter how unlikely the death may seem. You may never think you can die from putting on shoes, but it's possible. There's a reason they call it "catching 'bacon feet'".

One article can't cover all the obsessive planning you'll need to do before you die, but this should give you a headstart. Sure, you're going to die, but at least you won't die unprepared.

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Matt Willard's bio begins with witty phrasing that succinctly illustrates his stance as a humorist. It is then followed with a clever sentence that illustrates what he does in his spare time. The bio concludes with a shameless link to his Twitter profile, paired with an off-hand comment that alludes to his success with women. Laughter.

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3 thoughts on “Final Exit, or "Win A Chance To Meet Gary Coleman…The Hard Way"”

  1. Matt, you’ve made a very serious point within a humorous context. Nicely done.

    One thing I would add is the importance of having a disability insurance policy — you’re much more likely to be disabled than to die, particularly if you live in a mountain-lion-free area. And the good news for freelancers is that disability policies are cheap, since we’re in a low-risk field. Mine costs something on the order of $350 a year…YMMV.

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  2. The parents out there absolutely need a will. You can be broke as a joke, but the will provides a custodian for your child and someone to manage all of your life insurance benefits they’ll receive after you’re killed defending your babies from that damn mountain lion in Wal-mart. Which reminds me, get plenty of life insurance, too.

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