Featured News, Freelance Life, Opinion Pieces

Losing the plot over freelance work

March 8, 2013
Taking a break from freelance work at The Glasshouse, Woolgoolga

The Glasshouse, Woolgoolga

To say this week has been busy (or a nightmare) would give busy or nightmare new meaning. Coming to the end of 50 hours of freelance work in a week and knowing I will be working tomorrow and Sunday too is a little daunting.

Make hay when the sun shines and all that, and I truly do love my job. But sometimes being a freelancer can really suck. Sometimes having any job (even one you adore), is a big pile of poo.

But instead of pushing through into the 10th hour of solid work, I am choosing to blog for half an hour.

It’s time to remember the lessons I learnt in January when I was tucked up in the rainforest in Woolgoolga in a little glass house.

 

Screw freelance work, get back to nature

Screw freelance work

Woolgoolga Beach

Rather than staring at a screen day in and day out, the sea or greenery is a perfectly great alternative. And whilst the to do list is an ever growing, crazy little sprouting machine right now, it’s super important to make sure some blue sky is seen, a dog is walked and the sea is taken advantage of at least once more before it gets cold. Concentration is not aided by strong lighting and staying in a chair.

 

Look after yourself

For lunch, (well past lunch time might I add), I ate vitamins washed down with a cup of tea. This is not the meal of champions. An hour later, I was listless, restless and pushing myself. How much freelance work could I possibly expect to get done with that going on?

 

It’s hard sometimes when business is so pressing and deadlines are looming and people depend on you… but let’s get this straight- stopping for 10 minutes to make something and take out another 10 minutes to eat it would have boosted my productivity.

 

Thinking time

thinking about freelance work in the Spa at the Glasshouse, Woolgoolga

Spa at the Glasshouse, Woolgoolga

In the silence, alone in a warm spa (admittedly with a beer in hand most of the time), I came up with some truly awesome ides. Listening to the rushing water, birds chirping and just life in general helps open up creative channels. I solved a lot of problems whilst I was away- planned out an entire year’s worth of content in 20 minute sprints each day.

 

Now, because I am constantly tapped into social media, constantly being asked for things and constantly fielding phone calls, emails and requests, the ability to come up with ideas is being hampered. I need to remind myself to make time to sit away from the computer and just…well, think.

 

The little touches add so much

Having stayed in a lot of places in my time, it’s easy not to remember the temporary homes for holidays. But the Glasshouse was definitely different. The folded corners on the toilet paper, rolled up towels, sumptuous robes, the scent of aromatherapy oils, and fully stocked iPod and DVD library were the tiny little touches that made the stay oh so special.

 

Back in the city with people pushing for their right to be heard, everyone’s in a rush to get the bases covered. But it’s the special things that make all the difference. Things people remember are not what everyone else does or what the latest craze is; it’s what you do that is unique and special. It’s giving those little pieces of peace and “awww, how lovely” moments that make the biggest impact.

 

Sharing your passion

Gibson shares his passions for the waves

Gibson shares his passions for the waves

The owner of the Glasshouse is an artist- a good one at that- and she had no qualms about adorning the place with her art or leaving business cards. Her art made something special happen to the house- it gave it life that the architecture and the view, though both beautiful, couldn’t give. It was human, flawed and creative.

 

Sometimes in marketing, copywriting and business we get so close to what we do that we forget the beauty in the human, flawed and creative elements. It’s all about SEO, bookings and drinking each other’s bath water on what should be happening in a given circumstance. Too much freelance work and not enough creative exploration makes this little freelancer very, very dry.

 

This journey isn’t about keeping up with competitors or playing within the realm of what is expected. It’s about striking out and reaching human beings, showing a little bit of vulnerability and sharing a message in a creative yet honest way. It’s about having the belief in what you do so much you are happy to put it on display and not care what other people think… and realise that attitude is probably what they will love you for the most.

 

It’s all about your view

It can be so easy to be caught up in being welded to the desk (I know the last 2 or 3 weeks I have been totally smitten with it), but I am not doing my own business or my clients any favours by freaking out about TO DO lists or keeping up with the Joneses of the industry.

So I’m changing my view…

I didn’t choose freelance work to make millions- I do it because I am on a mission to show that creativity and truth in marketing, copywriting and content are valuable things.

My choice to change my lifestyle wasn’t about recreating the stress and pain of agency life only so I could wear my pyjamas to work- it was to be as effective as possible and continue to love my work whilst balancing my insatiably curious mind and still getting time to be creative at work and at play.

Thankfully, I have the Glasshouse to remind me.

 

What’s reminding you?

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