Today I am feeling pretty gross, but since I am freelancing, I feel like the show must go on even if I would rather not be sitting upright, typing, or reading. And when you’re sitting around all nauseous and dizzy, the last thing you want to be doing is contacting potential clients, employers or markets (i.e., magazines).
Well, at the very least, at least I can hide behind the e-mail. If I need to put my head on my desk or lie on the floor for awhile, I don’t have to worry about a boss walking by and giving me crap for slacking off in the middle of the work day.
But since I am on my own, there is the very real stress that comes about from feeling like every day, I must do something to make some money. I am lucky enough to have a husband with a good union job and health benefits, but Vancouver is an expensive city to live in and one full-time income just isn’t enough to support the whole household. The constant anxiety I feel from not earning enough to pay my share of expenses does start to take a toll on my health, and perversely makes it so that I will earn even less money because it’s hard to concentrate when I’m feeling sick, tired and overwhelmed.
So what are some of the solutions for taking care of yourself and making it so you can be energized and productive as a freelancer? Some things that I’m trying to do include meditation, taking vitamins, establishing a routine (i.e., having a regular workday schedule), and spending some time each day exercising, even if it’s just walking around the building with the dog. More difficult is trying to get the emotional and mental support for freelancing. I try to get out to meetings and events – even if I don’t talk so much to new people, they give me a chance to reconnect with my loose network of fellow writers and editors. I also find that I have to explicitly ask for support from my partner from time to time. Both of us were reared on a “job has a punch clock” mentality and it can be hard sometimes to wrap your head around the catch as catch can, feast or famine nature of freelance work. My husband can get quite anxious about feeling like he has to be the breadwinner for the household while wifey does mysterious things with the computer all day.
But the main thing is to keep writing even when you don’t feel like it. I feel sorta kinda better now. Keep well out there, ya hear?