I haven’t written my blog in over six weeks. Even by my standards of one or two posts a month (one a week if I’m really treating you), that’s proper lame. Bad Tess.
It’s not that I haven’t been writing. That’s literally all I’ve been doing – just not for myself.
In June this year I did something I’ve been wanting to do for, oh I dunno, about five years. I worked my last day as a full time employee and finally went freelance. Walking out into the big wide world with no savings, no guarantee of a secure income, no real idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it.
Some call it scary. I call it motivating.
A good friend had told me time and time again over the months preceding my decision – to ‘take the leap, and the net will appear.’
She was right.
It’s fear that kept me from taking the leap for so long. Fear of the unknown – not knowing where my next payslip would come from. I knew I had the skills to do the work (copywriting, digital marketing, social media), but would I be able to find it?
The truth is, it’s literally the best decision I could have ever taken. Ironically, all the spare time I thought I’d have to spend on my blog definitely hasn’t happened, as the lack of posting since mid-July demonstrates all too well.
Nor have many of the mid-morning fitness and lunchtime meditation classes I thought I’d be swanning about at in between deadlines. (I did manage a mid-morning float on Friday at The Float Spa though, and basically won hard at Friday).
Read my write up of the first time I tried floatation at The Float Spa here
But yeah, being freelance is pretty damn epic, for all of the reasons I wanted it to be, and more.
I’m doing stuff that I love
As in writing.
For many of my clients, I’m actually being paid to write, and just write. Nothing else. It means I can focus on doing what I love and do it well. The clients I’m working for respect my skills and experience, give me good time to complete projects, and appreciate the work I do. All of these things go a long, long way in getting the best out of someone.
And of course they pay me too.
So I’m now officially a freelance writer. Finally. All I’ve ever wanted in my professional life is to get paid to write and only write.
This is literally my dream.
Some of the cool stuff I’ve worked on that’s live already (lots more in the pipeline):
The Body Coach Blog! -> A beginner’s guide to starting your home fitness journey
Bike Radar -> Cross training for cyclists
Fresh Egg digital agency -> I wrote all the copy for their new website in line with new tonal values and brand guidelines, and am now working across their internal teams to ghost write their digital marketing blogs
I’m more motivated
Not that I wasn’t motivated before in previous jobs, I’ve always worked hard. But when you work for yourself, and are solely responsible for finding the work, building relationships and delivering on deadline, it gives a whole new dimension.
Add to that the fact that I can pick and choose what I work on, so am interested and passionate about everything I’m doing, and suddenly it doesn’t feel like work any more.
I’m more productive
I can move my working day around to suit when I’m most productive.
If I want to go to early morning yoga and have a leisurely breakfast to start work at 10 instead of 9, I can. I make up the time if I need to.
If I want to take a couple of hours off mid-morning for a much-needed float, have a long lunch with friends, or attend a midweek wedding, I can – I just start earlier. Often in my pyjamas, from the work den or standing desk, with tea and kittens for company.
This freelance lark is all new to me. Heading into month four now and whilst I’m busier than ever, with deadlines coming out of my ears, (not complaining, definitely not complaining), I’ve still got lots more to learn.
Not just in how to actually make it as a freelancer, but how to make myself better. How to become a better writer, be more efficient, learn to say no a bit, when my RSI strikes (which atm is quite a lot but I’m learning to manage it, which is a positive).
I have more energy
I no longer get the dreaded 3pm slump. Working for multiple clients on lots of different projects keeps my days varied and interesting.
I’m eating better, and exercising more, but not training – instead getting active for health and wellbeing. Two or three days a week I enjoy a lovely 24mile round cycle to Worthing and back – a commute I’ve loved every second of, even when headwind strikes.
I’ve met friends for mid-afternoon runs, been to morning yoga classes and gym sessions when I’ve needed a break from the screen.
I’m free as a bird
It’s a glorious feeling, waking up knowing you can work from anywhere today. You make your own To Do list and tick it of wherever and whenever it suits you.
I split my time between home and various cafes most of the time, and occasionally treat myself to a couple of hours of work on the beach or up on the Downs.
When you’ve got your office in your bag you really can work from anywhere, any time.
I had a difficult 2016 and made a promise to myself this year to focus on my mental health and wellbeing.
This is definitely the way to keep that promise. Living my best life.
Have a nose at my portfolio if you fancy >> tessagnew.contently.com
Have you learned anything about yourself since being self employed? I’d love to hear your thoughts…