Katie Portman

Journalist. Copywriter. Blogger.

Freelance, Inspiration

Reality bites – keeping the faith

It’s been a while since I did one of my ‘reality bites’ posts so for those of you who have been following my freelance progress, here’s the latest installment.

So we’re now in December, which is already proving to be somewhat of a freelance challenge. With the crazy winter weather and Christmas peeping around the corner, the work just isn’t coming in, like it has done previously. Add to this – delays in plans, endless waiting for feedback, as well as a few other little problems, and all of a sudden, my happy freelance life doesn’t seem so rosy. Yes folks, reality certainly bites and so it was, that a few days ago, I found myself thinking … what the hell am I doing?

Now I’ve had this feeling before, especially in the first few weeks when I started out, but this was worse. Because, for the first time since becoming a freelancer I actually felt real doubt and fear. Doubt –  ‘can I actually carry on doing this for a living?’ and fear – what am I going to do if I fail? How will I find work again?’ etc.  Anyway, let’s just say it wasn’t very nice.

It’s now a few days on and I’m pleased to say that those feelings have passed and I’ve now accepted my work down time for what it is. A down time. A lull. A quiet period. I’m beginning to understand that I’m not always going to busy or inundated with work and have accepted that some months are going to be trickier than others. People keep telling me that December is a notoriously tough month for most businesses out there, so at least I know I’m not alone, which also helps.

When I was researching becoming a freelancer, I kept coming across the ‘feast or famine’ saying in regards to the freelance workload. And so I guess, this is what I am experiencing now. The last few months have been a nice feast and now….. well…. it’s almost the opposite. Not quite a famine but certainly a strict diet.

But, have no fear folks. I may have had a brief moment of panic but I’m back on track, feeling positive and all is well. In life, you’ve always got to have a bit of faith and this is how I’m keeping mine …

  • Looking at the bigger picture – When I have a bad hour or a bad day, I force myself to think rationally and to see the bigger picture. Praise from clients or some wise words from my loved ones also remind me to be proud of what I’ve achieved so far and help me to feel a whole lot chirpier.
  • Making my own luck – I’ve always said that opportunities are out there, you just have to look for them and so I’m continuing to do just that. I’m searching and digging and knocking on doors and remaining positive.
  • Using my time wisely – I’ve been pretty good at keeping myself organised but there’s always little jobs that need doing and so I’m working through them while I have the chance. Ticking jobs off my to-do list keeps me out of mischief and weirdly, also makes me feel good.
  • Putting ideas into action – Since I started, I’ve had so many ideas but very little time to put them into action…until now. Extra time on my hands, means that I can work on my ideas and finally put some plans in place.
  • Enjoying some time off – Unlike an employee, freelancers don’t have the luxury of having their holidays paid for, so when work comes in, we tend to take it, even if we feel like having a day off. So now it’s a little quiet, I’m trying to make the most of it and see it as an opportunity to take a break. I still feel guilty (now I’m my own boss, I feel like I should be working 24/7) but I’m determined to enjoy some time to myself and while most people are struggling to juggle work with getting ready for Christmas, at least I know, that this year, I can really enjoy the festive build up :-)

Love and Hugs x

1 comment

  1. Todd Selle - January 13, 2014 05:51

    This older post of yours is my first to read on your website, Katie (having been sent here from one of your posts on Twitter). I’m convinced that we are in a time when freelancing is going to be, either by choice or by necessity, the career mode for an increasing number of us, and it’s very supportive to understand the ups and downs of someone who’s already made the jump – and also to understand the means of coping with unplanned events.

    I’m still in cubicle-land, but don’t see that lasting forever. In the meantime, let me know if there’s any kind of support I can provide for your journey (which I intend as a genuine offer of assistance, not a ploy to sell you somethimg).

    Todd