This past month has been a slower one when it comes to freelance work. I have a list of reasons why. However, I’m not getting caught up in worrying about it. I simply try to change what I can and make the best of the rest. Downtime is as natural as the tides, so try not to worry. I do have some advice on what to do when the universe presents you with free time.
(Disclaimer: Some of these ideas suggest going out to functions, such as going to the library. Those are suggestions for mostly post-pandemic activities.)
I fall into worry easily, but I do eventually sit up and remind myself that I’m wasting my time in wallowing and spinning out with worry.
Take a break
You can take an extra day off. Yes, that’s right. You can do that! It’s great to get some extra time to recharge, especially when you might have just completed a month of non-stop editing projects. Sleeping more, cooking nice meals, going for walks, playing games, and reading for fun are all great things to do.
You have a couple free weeks? Why not find some videos, or pick up some books to sharpen your editing skills. Or you could even look at working on new skills like design, or painting. Anything you’re interested in is fine. It doesn’t always have to be about work. If you’re on LinkedIn, they usually give away a free 30-days to their LinkedIn Learning courses (formerly Lynda.com) every year. I believe Skillshare offers free courses at times as well. Also be sure to check your memberships with writing and editing associations. You may be entitled to free or subsidized courses. Plus, there’s your local library. These community spaces have lots of different activities throughout the day. The fun bonus with freelancing is the freedom you gain over your day. You can absolutely go out for a couple hours after lunch to take in a lecture or a class.
Go ahead and learn some new meditation techniques or yoga routines. Spend some more time working out.
Listen to podcasts, anything interesting. Or listen to good radio, such as CBC Radio One. The variety of topics and shows that make you think can bring you to topics and questions you might never have thought of. Listening while doing chores is great. Look at art, animation, nature, movies, anything to light fires in your mind.
For me the downtime has been a great reminder. It made me realize that downtime is not a bad thing. I am an editor, but also a writer, and an illustrator. This is exactly the time I need to write more and draw more. So I doubled down. In a way, the universe is letting me get closer to finishing my book(s). Plus there’s the chance at alternative work in the future, writing articles or short stories, or drawing characters and covers.