The life of a freelance writer: riding the ups and downs.
Some weeks are so busy we don’t know how we are going to get it all done (but we always do). Some weeks are a bit slower and we might worry about how to fill our days.
But no matter what, when it comes down to it, being a freelance writer gives us some unexpected gifts.
One of the biggest gifts of all is that we are able to create our own schedule and manage our day in a way that increases our quality of life.
We are not stuck in an office from 9-5, living by someone else’s agenda, and we don’t have traditional rules and expectations for how our day is laid out and how our tasks are accomplished.
Besides the fact that we don’t usually waste time commuting and we can work in our pajamas, there are so many health-related benefits to what we do for a living.
Are you taking advantage of all the gifts of being a freelance writer?
Freelancing allows you to work at your best times
Are you a morning person, or a night owl? Great!
Either way, you should be scheduling your work time accordingly.
Determine what time of day you are at your best. Schedule your most important tasks, especially those where you need to be creative, during your ideal time of day.
If you are a night owl, don’t get up at 6 AM to write.
If you do need to get up earlier than you feel is optimal, use that time for exercise, meal prep, or other tasks that need to get done but don’t necessarily take a lot of focus.
Freelancers can more easily build in time for meditation
More people are starting a meditation practice than ever before.
For a freelance writer, meditation is a way to gain clarity and reduce stress.
Some people prefer listening to music that is designed for a purpose (relaxation, creativity, releasing negative thoughts etc.), others enjoy guided meditation, a breathing exercise, or even just closing your eyes and sitting quietly and paying attention to what “comes up” for you.
I encourage you to try out different forms of meditation, ask someone with experience for guidance if needed and determine what works best for you.
As a freelancer, you’re in the comfort of your own home (most of the time anyway), so you don’t have to worry about what other people think about you stopping mid-day to meditate, and you or don’t need to find a place without interruptions.
You have the choice to meditate however and whenever you want!
When meditation brings clarity, insight and a sense of calm, freelancers are fortunate they can meditate whenever they’d like.
Freelance writers can make exercise a priority and a reality
Not in the mood to meditate, but are feeling a bit restless?
Get out of your chair, and move. You can fit in your daily workout, or it might just be a great time for a five-minute stretch walk, or get a cup of tea or take a water break.
Since you get to set your own schedule you can take an exercise break when needed. Most jobs wouldn’t let you take an hour break at 10 AM to go for a run or do a workout right at your desk.
But as a freelance writer, you can enjoy this flexibility.
Freelance writers have more control over food choices and nutrition
When you work at a traditional job, you don’t always have as much control over when and where you eat.
But, as a freelancer, you have the flexibility to eat on YOUR schedule, when you need fuel, without needing to take your lunch break at a specific time, and you can get more over control over what you’re eating at those times.
You can’t overlook how valuable this is to your health.
When you work from home, there is no need to pack up food each morning or waste money going out to lunch. It’s a good practice to plan meals ahead and have lunches that are easy to grab or quick to prep.
This helps us be as efficient with our time as possible.
Would you rather spend an hour preparing and eating lunch or 30 minutes eating lunch and 30 minutes exercising, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath?
Whatever you choose…you are fortunate to have options.
Your friends in the traditional workforce don’t have the same luxuries.
Freelancers have their choice of creativity-inducing tools
I think we have all experienced “writer’s block”.
We sit down, ready to get a project done, and …nothing.
No idea of where to start.
Not even a sentence.
Well, when you’re in charge of your schedule, your space, and your routine, you can use whatever tools available to help you to spark your creativity. Sometimes we just need to step back and take a few minutes away from “trying so hard,” and let the ideas come more naturally.
Since you are not in an office surrounded by other people you don’t have to be concerned about disturbing or distracting anyone.
You can listen to music that helps you be creative or focus, diffuse essential oils that help with mental clarity and creativity (I like Frankincense, Peppermint, Clary Sage, and Tangerine for this purpose), or anything else that might normally be frowned upon in a typical office.
The bottom line is, although working from home can have its own distractions and lack of structure (if we allow it), the benefits of being a freelance writer are incredible if we take the time to capitalize on them.
Today, make a list of ten reasons you are grateful for being a freelance writer.
Think about the value that you gain from this career and lifestyle.
Once you have made your list, read it again.
As you read each one, take a minute to evaluate if you are really allowing that gratitude to be experienced each day.
If not…plan a way to incorporate that piece into your daily schedule. You deserve to be taking full advantage of all there is to be grateful for as a freelance writer.