Sitting in the mailbox is the latest rejection. That inevitable tide of feeling “what did I do wrong?” They’ve become so numerous now that over the years it’s almost like seeing an old friend. Well, maybe not a ‘friend’ per se – or maybe that friend who turns up at your house drunk and trashes your kitchen and is sick on your cat – but still, someone you know well.
It’s normal too, for the insides of your head to be screaming “I’m A Fraud! I’m A Fraud!” like some maniacal demon. Especially when you’re just starting out on your career.
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I am sure that there must be some unholy venn diagram governing the freelancer’s life which goes something like:
money < time > energy < all of those amazing plotweasels and project ideas you want to birth
I shouldn’t admit to this, but there are a worrying amount of my out-mails that start something like “Given current time commitments, It may take a couple of days to get back to you…” It is an eternal bugbear, and one of the many rocks which I throw myself against. The urge to apologise for not being digitally available 24/7 is always there, possibly not helped by a writer’s sense of shame at ever having the audacity to grub words onto the page at all.
I know I must be terrible at time management. It’s a thing. I am working on it. Apparently I am not the only one however, as my sister-in-law once complained about “the [INSERT FAMILY NAME HERE] time” – which, I am informed is always approximately ten minutes on either side of late or early.
I wonder if time management is a biological trait. I wonder if, way back when, us [INSERT FAMILY TIME] were always the ones to turn up to the mammoth hunt halfway through, or else the day previously. Mea culpa, mea culpa.
Daily notebooking helps. Project guides help. Caffeine definitely helps.
But then, I also have to wonder if it’s a part of the digital landscape that we occupy now. If the precarity of the Freelancer’s position is one that we have to make ourselves far more available than we would have 10yrs ago? My projects extend across the globe, and can be measured in GMT, PDT, CDT, CET, PHT and of course that ever-helpful UTC (Universal Temporal Chaos). I wonder about creating a sort of Freelancer’s Clock like the very sobering Doomsday Clock that I could display at the top of every email; the guage set to either Dangerous, Critical, Nervous Collapse, or SEND HALLP.
But then I realize that I still have work to do, and the coffee won’t drink itself.