Freelance feast or famine

Freelance feast or famine is a well-known fact. Being a freelancer of any sort is a roller-coaster ride during which you’re either rolling in money and backed up with work or finding work slow and funds hard to come by.

The life of a freelancer ping-pongs between periods of excitement so tangible it makes you want to just burst – and periods of workless boredom. While the latter leaves no excuses for continuing to ignore the housework that piled up during that streak of non-stop work, if you’re smart, and budget, you’ll have a housekeeper to care for your home. That way, you can use the downtime to emerge from your cave and venture forth into the world that other humans inhabit.

Many freelancers work alone in isolation and have little to no contact with other freelancers. I was like that for most of my life, but recently that has changed. I perform work through a content mill, which has a forum for its workers. Ignoring that forum for the first few years that I was there was one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made.

Without the threads in the forum one did not know whether a given project had ended or if we were just “cut from the team” for reasons unknown and seldom explained. In fact, SOMETIMES when we lose access to work it is due to a mistake, so it’s always good to check the forum threads to see what’s been going on – and send a support ticket if you think you were accidentally or unfairly cut.

Furthermore, I have developed a few friendships since I began to frequent the forum. These friendships with other freelancers are wonderful because they know the daily struggle. They have all had to endure the same frustrations. Some of them have found means by which to work more steadily than others, and all of them are creative people who may not see themselves as “fun” but whose talents make them fun to me.

I would love to have the benefits that come with a corporate-type job, but in a half-century on this planet, I never managed to fit into those environments. I “fit in” best on the internet and in other freelance activities such as rideshare driving where it seems like many of the oddballs like me end up.

Are you a freelancer? What has your experience been? I’d love to hear tips and tricks for living a glorious and work-filled freelance life. Please comment below!

3 thoughts on “Freelance feast or famine

  1. So much truth in this post! The struggle is real. I recommend to freelancers like myself to focus on goal setting activation: where do you want to be in 2 years once your plan of action goes into effect, and again in 5 years. Those are the time frames I’ve seen time management consultants suggest, and it makes sense to me. We all need our “side hustle” as people are calling “moonlighting” these days to become our main gig. The time will pass anyway, so it’s all a matter of what we do with it and where we are in regard to accomplishing our goals as we pass these time markers.

    1. Yeah. I love the excitement, in that at any moment of any day I can get a phone call, text, or email that leads to work… but the uncertainty and downtime during which we have to play round robin with bill-paying and never quite seem to be caught up is maddening. Yet I have no choice, because I don’t know if I’m even healthy enough to consider a full-time job somewhere and most of them don’t even come with benefits these days.

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