It’s no secret that freelance writing is not a career choice for someone who isn’t willing to work. Yes, the writers at the top of the tree do live quite a cushy lifestyle, but that’s because they’ve gone through years and years of seemingly endless suffering. They’ve built a business to stand the test of time through pure sweat equity.
Don’t look at these people. They’re not representative of the majority. You do need to put the work in just to survive. If doing what you love is worth it, though, keep reading and we’ll show you how to do it whilst staying sane.
1. Set a Goal
It’s not uncommon for people to panic during challenging times. Lots of people think this is because they’re under stress, and to an extent it is. The true origins of this stress are feelings of confusion and not knowing what’s ahead of us. This is where we lose sight of our true goals. We ask ourselves why we took a project on in the first place and what it’s going to get us.
Have a set goal for the short-term and the long-term. Write them down and pin them to a place where you can see them. This represents your anchor. It will provide stability when all the craziness of freelance writing happens.
2. Don't Work from Dawn to Dusk
It’s tempting to work as much as you can to earn as much money as you can. Without a whistle telling you the day is over, it doesn’t take much to lose track of time and find yourself burning the midnight oil. Whilst you may have to do this sometimes to complete an urgent project, it’s not a good idea to turn it into your regular working hours.
You need rest. Your mind needs time to relax. The zombie writer may work long hours, but their quality of life declines and it doesn’t take long before it starts to impact their work. Your clients will appreciate time off as much as you.
3. Take a Vacation
Yes, freelance writers do take vacations. Everyone needs time to recharge their batteries. Time off doesn’t have to mean a trip to the exotic land of Hawaii for colourful cocktails and hula skirts. You can spend time at home and waste your time watching TV. When you come back, you will feel refreshed and ready to give your work your best shot all over again.
On a side note, some freelancers take the middle ground. Instead of time off, they will simply reduce their workload for a few weeks. They’ll work for a few hours a day instead of a full day. This is a fantastic way to rest without cutting off entirely.
4. The Passion Project
Freelance writers have an interest in writing in general. They may be novelists or they may have certain subjects that get them out of bed on a morning. Make your day more enjoyable by taking on some passion projects, even if it means you have to accept less pay. It may reduce your earning power, but it’ll make sure the act of writing doesn’t grow stale and drive you insane.
You’ll notice that the best ways to keep yourself sane involve stepping away from the computer. We understand not every freelancer can afford to do that. That’s why financial management is so important. Earn more than you need every month so you can constantly build up your nest egg. This will enable you to take time off without re-mortgaging your house.
Regular periods of decompression will ultimately make your writing life more exciting and gratifying. In the end, isn’t that why you decided to become self-employed originally?