Last month, I resigned from a full-time job that was making me incredibly miserable. I’m now in the early stages of setting myself up as a freelance writer. It’s an amazing feeling to focus on freelance writing, but stressful too!
Every day is spent writing, researching, networking and pitching my work in an attempt to put myself in the best possible position to start offering my services as a writer, and I have so many ideas running through my head, but no loose ends tied up! Although it’s still very early days for me, I’ve discovered a few things that make the every-day life of an aspiring freelance writer a little easier.
Freelance Writing: Starting Out vs Stressing Out!
1. Getting up with the other members of your household (or setting an alarm if you live alone)
With no boss to answer to, you could lie in until 11am every day if you wanted to! Personally, I find that getting up when my boyfriend goes to work means that I’m able to make the most of the day ahead. If you live alone, setting an alarm for a decent time will stop you over-sleeping and wasting valuable writing hours!
2. Making a healthy lunch the night before
Every evening, I make myself a salad for the next day. Not only does this mean I don’t have to take time out of my day to make lunch, but it stops me from falling into the habit of eating sandwiches, pasta, or other carbohydrate-based meals I really shouldn’t be eating when I’m spending most of my day sitting down! Which leads me nicely on to…
3. Taking time to exercise or just go outside
I don’t want to preach about how unhealthy it is to sit at a computer all day, but I will preach about the power of a 10 or 20-minute exercise DVD or online workout! Better still is a brisk walk, as this removes you from your writer’s den for a while!
4. Not working late into the evening
When you’re researching, writing, networking etc. from home, it’s all too easy to carry on late into the evening. I’ve found I have to make a conscious effort to wind down at night, or I’m too wired to sleep. And on the subject of over-working…
5. Not feeling guilty about doing other things during the day
In all fairness, the ‘other things’ I’ve been doing are generally household chores or food shopping, but at least they get me away from the computer. I’ve tried to get back into the habit of reading for pleasure, too, which was my way of winding-down when I had a full-time job. Self-employed or not, no one can work flat-out without a break.
6. Embracing the writer cliché
I’m a bit of a traditionalist and carry a notebook and pen with me, even though I could record things on my phone. For me, life is far less stressful when I can physically write down my thoughts and ideas and know where to find them.
7. Exploring different avenues
Whether I’m adding posts to my blog, working through a proofreading course, attending a creative writing workshop or reviewing books for charity, I’m putting my all into everything I do. At best, something amazing will come of one of these things, and at worst, I’ll have a wealth of experience under my belt.
Ultimately, I have taken a massive leap of faith and, although it’s not easy getting started freelance writing, I intend to continue focusing all my efforts on achieving my goals, and hope other aspiring writers are able to do the same.
Author Bio: Megan
Megan is 26 years old and lives with her boyfriend in Suffolk, UK. She has a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing with the Open University and recently joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. Having resigned from a job she had been very unhappy in, Megan is now pursuing a career as a freelance writer. You can read her blog posts at silverstarfishblog.wordpress.com.
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