Waiting for the work to come in when you are a freelance writer is a tortuous thing, whether it is just days or years. Two obvious reasons why you get anxious - you want to do the think you really like - write, and then there is that small matter of getting paid for it. That is what you do and you have to pay all those expenses, get some food, and why not, enjoy yourself…
So, no matter how long that wait was, suddenly the work starts coming in and you get hit with a somewhat strange situation - it is getting a bit too much for your liking. Yes, you can now write as much as you wish, and more. And that ‘more’ can become quite a problem, you want to handle it all, but you get overwhelmed by that old movie stereotype where you’re in the 9 to 5 office and invisible hands are just piling tons and tons of papers to be finished yesterday. So what happened with all that joyfulness, ‘do it t your own pace and time’…
It can get very scary and stressful - you’re entering exactly the situation that you wanted to avoid - somebody or somebodies are setting you there own rhythm and pace, and you get the feeling you might have gone (back) to that office after all. But he’s the thing - you might as well listen to Bob Marley’s advice - “Lively Up Yourself”! If you can’t really speak Patois and Rasta ideology is not your thing, what Marley had in mind is more or less, don’t let the thing get you down! In such a situation, Marley himself probably went for a “remedial cigarette” (actually a few of them). That might not be your thing but some kind of relaxation is definitely in order.
But the key element here in a situation where you want to have your cake and eat it too, and that is to do as much writing as your heart desires, but avoiding it to become a burden is to translate Marley’s Lively Up Yourself into “organize yourself”. First of all, see how much writing you can take per day without constantly thinking of what’s on the schedule next. Basically, leave as much space between assignments as you need to recuperate both mentally and physically (who doesn’t think that writing has its physical hardships, hasn’t done that much writing). And, I know all those organizational and writing tools that flood your email inbox are a drag, but some of them are not just useful, but you really need them to stay on top. In essence, take on as much as you really can because that is the only way to stay productive but for you writing to acquire a true worth. To yourself and others.
Oh, and keep Marley’s Lively Up Yourself somewhere handy…
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