I like to think of myself more of an optimist than a pessimist. I could be wrong, but I think that’s a trait that could influence the success of a freelance writer. After all, you need a certain degree of positivism to take that leap – leave your regular day job pay and strike out on your own.
There are times, however, when all this freelancing business gets to me. I know I should not complain. This is, after all, what I had been aspiring for while I was still a corporate drone. This was – and is – my dream.
Freelance writers are only human.
I don’t think anyone will dispute that. Contrary to “popular opinion”, writers who work at home, visit clients if necessary, and still have to take care of the thousand and one chores at home are also vulnerable to down times. When things become too much for me to handle, I allow myself to feel bad for a while. Just for a while, though. I force myself to move on afterwards.
In an effort to get this load off my mind, and maybe to help others in the process, I am going to list down those freelancer issues that sometimes get me down and meddle with my productivity. Bear with me, please!
- Funky Internet connection. I am sure you agree that a stable Internet connection is one of the most important tools for a freelance writer. I am actually not asking for super fast speeds – just a stable connection, both for home use and mobile use. A solution: have two providers just in case – if you can afford it.
- Computer failure. Oh, the horror stories we’ve heard! I don’t need to go on and on about this. We’ve all had our computers act up at the most inopportune of times.
- Expectations at home. People will always expect something from you, no matter what kind of job you have. I don’t know if you experience the same thing, but it seems to me that sometimes, family and friends think that you can drop whatever you are doing the moment they need something of you. You’re a freelancer after all. You don’t have the same responsibilities as office workers do. It makes me want to tear my hair out at times!
- Unexpected circumstances beyond your control that make a dent on your earnings. Sickness. Personal emergencies. Even technical problems fall under this. When it happens, and you have to worry about your earnings for the month, it can really be a tough time. Getting back on your feet and moving on is the logical thing to do, but it is easier said than done.
- Unfair and destructive criticism. Some people are thick-skinned, and most of the time, I allow criticism (of the bad kind) to flow over me like rain falling on a newly waxed car. Of course, when delivered at a bad time, this kind of feedback may very well be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Whew! That felt good!
I’ve always seen writing as a way to vent my feelings without being destructive, and it is no different this time. Are you feeling frustrated with what you’re doing right now? Let’s commiserate with each other, and find solutions to make things better.
Marcia Dentley has been working from home for several years. You won’t see her without her trusty laptop, but she also always has a pencil and notepad with her. Her other constant tech companions: www.clear-internet.com, Quora, and Twitter.