Freelance Talk 1/12/19

So this is just going to be a nice, freeform blog post that I’ll try to make every Saturday. I’ll just write down my thoughts and the progress I’ve made in my goals. Why post it on the blog? I’m finding that there’s a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to freelancing and all the struggles that entails, especially if you do it full-time like I am.

So I’m writing this for any other freelancers out there who don’t know what to believe or what to read or what to do with all the free time on their plates. I know it’s confusing for me. All I can offer is my actual, real-life experience. Plus, this feels like it might be a good way to de-stress from all the hand-wringing and worrying I do during the week while I’m trying to juggle all the things I want to progress.

First: Financially I did alright this week. Actually better than the goal I set; I have a specific target I need to hit at the one-month mark and I’m more than thirty percent there, so that’s good news. I think having objectives that are reachable is more important than having goals so far into the horizon they might as well be pipe-dreams. I learned that the hard way when I tried to write a novel and get it published without having published anything previously. All I had to sustain myself was some half-realized dream about being a published author, and when it all came crashing down it wasn’t fun. Not the best thought process.

Set attainable goals. Small ones that you can sigh with relief about at the end of the day when you complete them.

Secondly: got both this blog, for samples and just random blog posts about Star Wars fiction I enjoy, and the blog for my serial up and running, for the most part. They could both use tweaks and finishing touches, but at least they’re functional. I think these are going to bring mental satisfaction in spades once they’ve been up for a while, and who knows? Maybe they’ll end up actually helping the freelancing career in some oddball way. This all counts as a writing sample, right?

Thirdly: I find that having a set time during the day, specifically partitioned for grinding through articles for money, helps make it seem less terrible. If you know you’re imprisoned for four hours writing mindless content you can put on music and just write. Relax. It’ll get done with or without your brain, for the most part. And today, when I was writing some of the articles I needed to get done, it wasn’t really so bad. Actually great money on the per-hour basis, anyway.

Hmm. Everywhere I read keeps telling me content mills are the bane of freelancers’ existences, and I agree, but I’m not sure where to go from here. I think I’ll start local, start emailing Boston businesses and cold-call emailing them and seeing where it takes me. Oh, I’ve applied to writing jobs here and there, too; you never know who might give you a chance even though you’re a sad, strange little copywriter without a Bachelor’s in anything.

I guess the overall lesson learned this week was to stay busy, and stay working on something, even if it isn’t paying work. That’s why you have savings and backup plans and rich girlfriends, right? So long as you’re making progress, things aren’t so bad.

The grind has to end eventually. And in the meantime, I’ll just be happy my serial is coming out in a couple of days.

This was fun. I think I’ll keep writing these, even if just for myself. No one is reading this blog yet. Here’s hoping that that will change!

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