Rolling with the punches freelance style

By nature, I’m a routine driven kind of girl. I’m not saying I can’t deviate from the plans every now and then, but overall I find it easier when I have some idea of what’s coming ahead. I don’t know about you, but if it’s a workday, I want time to get into the mindset, and if it’s a day off, I want to be able to savour the thought of it beforehand. I do not hate a little forward planning now and then (although the big stuff, the life planning stuff, that can take a running jump).

Routine desk style

So the thing about the kind of life I’m leading at the moment, is that it’s not a very forward planning kind of life. Predicting when I’ll need to work and when I won’t is tough, because it’s not controlled by a pay check but is instead at the behest of clients, and we all know the fits of whimsy they are susceptible to.

Then there’s the real reason I gave up a full time job, because I wanted to be available to take chances on and enjoy things I wouldn’t when I was tied to someone else’s hours. While this freedom is wonderful, it goes against my natural inclinations pretty strongly. Sometimes I find myself tussling over how great and experience will be and how much it’s going to disturb my made up routine.

When the sense of adventure wins, it’s more than worth it. The other week, Fin and I went to see two shows on relatively short notice – The Bone Yard and 2401 Narratives which were both grand in very different ways. Then there was an already planned visit to Literary Death Match, a last minute decision to travel through for the always excellent Words Per Minute – all shows well worth re-jigging plans for.

But the thing that got me musing on his topic is really the way my plans have shifted in the last 24 hours – in which I agreed to help set up a short story event, fill in a last minute slot reading at Nights at the Circus tomorrow and attend a fabulous looking scientific creative writing workshop run by the delightful Tania Hershman on Friday morning. All of which I wouldn’t have been able to do this time last year, what a lucky SOB I feel at the moment.

Rolling with the punches might not always be the easiest, but damn does it help you get the best out of freelance life. If you see my whinging about my plans being upset, please do feel free to kick me in the shins.

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6 responses to “Rolling with the punches freelance style

  1. I get it. Although I really enjoy (need?) my freedom, I don’t like it when my plans are interrupted when it’s not me that’s doing it. On Friday I arrived at a remote hotel that had lied about having Wi-Fi access, and I spent the afternoon tracking down an internet cafe so I could email my editors that work might be delayed by a few days (work that wasn’t due for ages anyway). Then yesterday they replied telling me it had been Easter anyway, so it had made even less of a difference than it hadn’t made already. Nobody mess with my pointless schedule!

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      • Sure. If I don’t do any work one day due to laziness or being busy with other things, I can easily catch up the next day. But if I was *planning* to work after breakfast and the Wi-Fi is down temporarily, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

        Luckily I do remember to have perspective sometimes, and get annoyed at my bad attitude. But then I heard some guy swearing at the hotel staff who were being slow to connect up the TV because he wanted to watch a football match that wasn’t starting for another 30 minutes, and I remembered there are much worse people than me. Whew!

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  2. Sounds fun, but sounds like something that would take some getting used to if you’ve been more used to the 9 to 5.

    An interesting and informative post, thanks for that Lynsey. I hope to join the more independent freelance lifestyle when I have enough clients, so reading about your experiences is of particular interest.

    Keep it up!

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    • Thanks Richard! It is little strange to switch from one way to the other, but there are plenty of things to recommend it – and I’m sure you’ll love making a go of it when the time comes.

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