Freelance writing could be a beautiful experience, and not depressive. A lot of people experiencing depression at less than age 30 are probably hungry and working hard to rise. Give an average person the assurance of 3-square meals, and they’d be super productive. In fact I’d choose an office that serves food over one that offers salary raise. I get to eat and someone cooks it for me. They can have my extra salary!!
Now turn to those of us running our own businesses, in the market, online, on the road, mid-traffic. Money is a terrible task master, you’d get so busy doing your job, you’d fade away, die of hunger without knowing. It takes a lot of discipline to always cook and eat while building a career, mothers are gods to be worshipped.
Coping mechanisms are quite important for those without restrictive work hours. You might be tempted to starve while writing or doing your business. A lot of people would naturally overwork if they had no one supervising them. Especially freelance writers who have no opening or closing hours.
A few days ago while finishing up my novella “Grey Wine,” I could feel my stomach growling. My mouth was bitter, my hands were trembling but I couldn’t stop.
I also had a pile of writing to do for others. I wrote two travel articles on two webpages:
1. For writers travelling
2. For my kind of people who just like to travel.
I just couldn’t move from my work table. There was a brand story I also had to finish up for a client. I wrote a book on Brand Storytelling and it’s not small work.
I could feel myself losing strength from overthinking, and my eyes were glued to the screen. This was my everyday experience for a whole week. Each day I still had to come online to respond to new requests or search for more prospects. At around 1 p.m, i’d realize I skipped breakfast.
If you’ve experienced this, you’d know that it never stops. Your work keeps building up to a spill over. You have tasks divided into:
1. Actual writing.
2. Content Marketing.
3. Client management.
4. Social Media
5. Product design.
And of course, binge watching youtube and browsing names of dogs that eat grass or something of that nature.
Each aspect just as tasking as the other. There are other parts of your life calling for attention. Your friends, partner, family, they won’t stop to consider that you might be dying. They want your help and they want it NOW.
I finally got some respite. These are few solutions I found useful:
I discovered an automation tool for instagram. One of the many tasks you would also have to keep in mind as a writer is social media management. If you are like me, you probably own multiple platforms and also have clients.
LaterPlus helped me with a major part of my social media. Despite being in early stages of launch, LaterPlus, has proven quite useful for automating instagram socials. You can schedule posts, autofollow, autounfollow those who refuse to follow you, auto like and lots more. All you need is to set the parameters and let the system do it’s job.
The thing with LaterPlus is also that it’s quite cheap. #1000 (Naira) a month would give you access to most of it’s features. You can try it out for FREE. I find Laterplus quite easy to navigate compared to some alternatives. Thus puts it way ahead of any other automation system like Hootsuite. You can also make money on Laterplus, comment to request details or do a google search.
For me to actually complete some of my writing work, I had to switch of the internet access. Yes, internet could be a major distraction. You keep checking new updates.
Most times when you write, anything that breaks your flow would ruin your muse. The internet and endless updates keep you distracted and restless. This us bad for writing.
If you need to get research material offline or work on your PC, do it. Put those mobile phones away or switch the internet off.
There are so many other fixes you can apply to your work process. Most importantly, know when to stop.
You might have an automation system, switch off the internet but still be stuck on your writing for the whole day. You’d still miss all your meals if you are not careful.
Now that you have no supervisor, you need to supervise yourself.
Mix Fun with Food
I usually see an episode of a movie series while eating. This allows me a few minutes off work throughout the day.
Another fun thing I do is, I play games while cooking. The other week I burnt my food twice because I was working while cooking. This meant I had to starve even though I cooked.
This is why I combine fun time with food time. Play games while cooking, chat, call your friends, take pictures and share. This would make sure you anticipate food time.
Hope this was helpful for the new business week. Tell us what your coping mechanism is, share to help someone who works hard.