Notes on freelancing: why it’s important to make time for personal projects

notes-on-freelancing-why-its-important-to-make-time-for-personal-projects

Earlier this year I set myself a goal of writing at least one blog post per week. I didn’t have an end-game in mind; I just knew I needed to set some wheels in motion. If I wanted to be a writer, I needed to write – frequently, no excuses.

I soon found a rhythm and managed to meet my self-imposed weekly deadlines. Some posts were mediocre. Some were good. Some were hard to write, let alone share. But I continued to hit publish, and it felt great. I was creating and contributing. I was choosing action over inaction. I was practicing my craft.

And then something interesting happened – almost out of nowhere, a path appeared, and all signs pointed to freelancing full-time. Challenge accepted. I quit my job and I became a writer – for real. It was exhilarating and crazy and yet it also felt like the most natural transition in the world.

I finally feel like I am leading an authentic life, where my career goals align with my personal goals and are not constantly colliding. I feel more like my true self than I have since I left university and entered the workforce. I no longer need to leave a portion of my personality at the office door; my business is me.

But in the rush of it all, I stopped writing for my blog every week. I had new goals to focus on, and my personal writing was reassigned to the end of my to-do list. A goal that was so important to me at the beginning of the year became a forgotten footnote – an item in the too-hard basket. After a full day of commercial writing, often all I feel like doing is watching mind-numbing television and eating chocolate. I reward myself for my hard work by switching off, escaping.

In reality, I need to honour my original goal now more than ever. I have no doubt my commitment to publishing every week created new opportunities for me, and helped me build the confidence to go freelancing full-time. This blog is where I write just for the sake of writing – and this is what will help keep my passion for words alive.

If I funnel all my energy into commercial projects, I will be doing an injustice to myself and my clients. Burnout will be inevitable. In order to be truly successful, I need to invest time in my own projects. This will help me produce better work for others, and ensure that I continue to live with authenticity and purpose.

My goal is back on the priority list – a blog post every week. A commitment to my craft, to myself and to my career. I’d love for you to hold me accountable.

Until next week,
Jess x

4 thoughts on “Notes on freelancing: why it’s important to make time for personal projects

    1. Hi Zezee, thanks for reading. It is hugely beneficial to invest time in creative pursuits, but all too easy to fall victim to ‘freelance guilt’ and think you need to be working 24-7. Trying to strike the perfect balance :-) What would be your dream job? – Jess

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