|this stock photo came up when i googled “freelance”- obviously all freelancers are ex-businesspeople whose life choice banished them to walking the desert alone with birds|
I’ve discovered the secret to losing ten pounds instantly: become a freelancer and live in constant state of fear.
Last week was my first week ever not working a 9-5.
It was exciting and terrifying and freeing and exhausting.
I’ve been working towards this goal both subconsciously and finally consciously for the past eight years. Now that it is finally here, I’m like, “Dear Mother of God! I’m a woman on the loose!” I enjoy the analogy that @bbrosmarty shared with me: “We liken it to becoming a wild animal. You’re free from the zoo- but you have to find your own dinner.” Does this mean I’ll have to grow my nails out and sharpen my teeth now?
Earlier this year as my freelance writing began to pick up I finally came to the conclusion that these 9-5 office jobs were getting old. Even when I worked in LA, I worked out of an office and I was always having to care for someone or something that in the end I didn’t care much for. My Momma raised me to worry about things like a consistent paycheck and health insurance, so flying solo did not seem like a good option. The terrible posture I was developing from sitting in a chair, the Carpal Tunnel, the poorly circulated pancake ass were all afflictions I told myself that I could deal with. However, when my last job told me I couldn’t freelance write, I very quietly and internally decided then that I was done. No more kidding myself. It has taken me most of my twenties to figure out what the hell I want to do- writing- and I’ll be damned if someone gets in the way of that.
Not having a regimented schedule is confusing. It makes me feel guilty. Not going into an office and waking up at 10AM and working in my underwear is wrong, right? Even though I was glued to my computer all day and every day last week. I was afraid that if I wasn’t working on my computer at least the entire day, than I was seen as lazy. By who? I’m not sure. The little labor elves who tell you that the corporate lifestyle is the only way to go.
Right now I’m sitting on my couch typing this. The front door is open. The sun shines down on my scorched cracked lawn. A rooster crows from behind my house. I just ate a cookie. My boyfriend is still asleep in the other room. He was up until 6AM shooting our feature film. I’m thinking of walking somewhere to get a breakfast taco. I will work on one of my jobs from 1PM to 6PM today. I will not have to drive an hour outside of town to do this. I will not have to say hi to 15 different co-workers. I should be reveling in this, but it’s just too foreign to even comprehend!
I’m learning that it is up to me to create a schedule, to set up some sort of normalcy to my new found freedom. Maybe I try this: Wake up every day at nine. Lauren, you should really go buy a coffee maker. Block the 1st hour for the blog, block the next 4+ hours for your new social media managing and PR gig. Make sure to eat somewhere in that time. Try to break the habit of getting lunch at Whole Foods, ok? Maybe do some stretching? Stop and smell a freakin’ flower while you’re at it. Maybe you should learn yoga? But can you afford to go to yoga with your new income? You know, you’re going to have to set money aside for taxes. What about health insurance? You’re healthy, but you’re not invincible! YOU’RE NOT INVINCIBLE! Block another 2 hours for any freelance writing. Read a book or watch a movie to keep the creative juice flowing. Your writing is starting to sound stale. Make sure you got your good dose of social media lovin’ in today, THEN PUT THE GOD FORSAKEN COMPUTER DOWN, LAUREN! Put it down! Give it to me. You can do it, you can do it. That’s a girl. How does that feel? Do you feel better? Can you even hear me? What’s that glossed over look in your eyes? Are you still thinking about your computer? Are you? ARE YOU?!?
I found this blog, The Anti 9-tp-5 Guide, while Googling “How to Adjust to the Freelance Life” and I can’t wait to dive in. If I learn anything over the next few weeks, I’ll keep you posted. Otherwise, any tips that you have will be helpful so I don’t lose my sheeot.