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Finding Balance In Freelance Writing

There really are only 24 hours in a day

I woke up this morning, after a good night's sleep, feeling tired. At least at first that's what I thought I was feeling. The first cup of coffee cleared my head a bit, and I realized I wasn't feeling tired... I was feeling stale, and uninspired.

When I look at all I've done the last week or so, I'm not surprised. A couple of clients had new, and earlier deadlines that I decided I'd honor. That meant a push on a website and a push on a book chapter. Plus I've kept up with most of my own work, and I've even added a couple of new, ongoing writing and editing tasks.

I tend to think time will expand along with the work. It doesn't, in spite of my acting as if it does.

It might be time management

Some might say that my problem is time management, and it certainly has an element of that. I underestimated how much time the website would take - and the kind of time is that fussy, nit picking, detailed time that isn't very inspiring. It's also the kind of job that's terribly difficult to predict. The writing isn't the problem, it's all the other stuff, like html, key words and the like. Plus I decided the graphics needed reworking and that's always a time-sink. But, I'd agreed to the deadline and I made it.

The book chapter editing took just about what I'd predicted, a tiny bit less actually, but I didn't enjoy it much. And again, it's nit picky.

With the biggest of the new projects, it's really impossible at this point to figure out what kind of time it will take - we're inventing the whole thing as we go along.

It's really about balance and self-care

But more than time management, it's really about balance. Under that is something I know as self-care.

When we work a regular job, things are pretty predictable. We know the hours we work, the time it takes to get there and back, and we know our days off and our vacation time.

When we freelance, there are no official constraints on our time. We can work a twenty hour week or an eighty hour week. It's so easy, for instance, to work through lunch, eating at the computer, or to start an hour earlier than usual or work an hour or two later.

While there's nothing intrinsically wrong with any of those decisions, we often make them unconsciously, and over and over again. The result is exactly what I woke up with this morning - lack of inspiration and a feeling of being stale.

Feeling rushed? Pause!

I've been rereading Catherine Ponder's classic, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity. This morning, under a subhead called "Avoid Hurry" I found this:

Whenever you find yourself hurrying along trying to force a result, call a halt... A saleslady I know says that when she gets the feeling that she has "so much to do," she does nothing. Instead, she goes off for a little while to relax, have a cup of coffee and regain her equilibrium, after which she can usually accomplish twice as much in half the time.

Don't you just love that? Don't you sense, as I do, that this will actually work? This is self-care at its finest.

Now, I'm going to pause for, guess what, another cup of coffee!

Write well and often, and pause!

I like the book so much, I wrote a review.

 

 

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Email Anne: [email protected]

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