Freelancer life… Why having a routine is good for you

Freelance writing in Devon

When you work for yourself, your routine doesn’t have to look anything like anybody else’s.

I had an interesting conversation the other morning, over coffee with a freelancer friend. We were discussing our daily and weekly routines and how establishing these had been so important to both of us when starting out in freelance life. The irony of this conversation and its location has since struck me because one of the biggest advantages of being a freelance writer is that you can (and sometimes should) break out of the daily routine to find time for morning coffee with friends.

Down the right road

Routine is an interesting concept. Sometimes used as an adjective to denote the dull or humdrum but actually a comfort to many of us, routines can seem unattractive but often form the basis of a fun and productive life. It might help routine’s PR to look at its etymology. As you might expect, it comes from the French word ‘route’ meaning ‘road’, suggesting that a routine is something that will help you get to the places you want to be. Surely a good thing for any freelancer. Throughout my working life, the places I have generally wanted to be were ‘in work’ and ‘with money’. However the picture is more complicated now that I am a freelance writer. Having been in a high-pressured career and being the grand old age of 52, I now understand that the other important place I want to be is ‘with time’.

Achieving your freelance goals

So how do you achieve that elusive trinity of goals? The numbers of happy freelancers across the UK clearly demonstrates that having an acceptable combination of work, money and time is possible but I would suggest that this triumvirate doesn’t come without some element of organisation. That, of course, is where our old friend routine comes into play. Within established routines you can allocate time to each goal, ensure your work life balance and, maybe most importantly, avoid that, ‘I wish someone would tell me what to do next’ feeling.

It’s your routine after all!

When the work pile looks insurmountable a routine can help you make your way through it. When your inbox is empty, a routine can help you take alternative positives steps towards freelance success. With a solid freelance routine you can make informed decisions about when to break free and when to stick to your guns. Without a freelance routine you risk feeling as though you are underachieving. If this all sounds a bit… well… routine, the great news is that when you work for yourself, your routine doesn’t have to look anything like anybody else’s.

Freelance or free stress? Stress awareness for the freelance workforce.

Swapping to a freelance lifestyle is often a relief from the stresses and strains of traditional working but although the grass is often greener on the other side, it can sometimes become a tad muddy. This week is Stress Awareness Week so here at Fi Darby Freelance we have decided to share with you five of our freelance-work stress points and how we deal with these.

Continue reading “Freelance or free stress? Stress awareness for the freelance workforce.”

Too much work or not enough? How to manage the boom or bust side of freelance life

I have been working as a freelance writer down here in Devon for almost five years now. Long enough for me to understand but not necessarily appreciate the feast or famine side of freelance work life. Being unsure of how much money I am going to earn each month makes for a lifestyle that is interesting, in every possible sense of the word. I will confess to having moments of worry when work doesn’t come in as regularly as I would like it to. I will also confess to having feelings of mild panic when I have a list of writing jobs that includes a number higher than five. Here are my five top tips for managing the boom or bust side of freelance life.

Continue reading “Too much work or not enough? How to manage the boom or bust side of freelance life”

I didn’t talk to anyone today… Mental health and working from home

Today is World Mental Health Day and an opportunity for us all to be honest, open and caring about mental health issues. There is plenty of great mental health advice out there for both employers and employees but what about those of us who work from home? Tips like ‘Get to know your colleagues outside office hours’ and ‘Look for opportunities to work in a team’ are great but can be tricky to try when your office is your home and your team is you.

Continue reading “I didn’t talk to anyone today… Mental health and working from home”

International Women’s Day 2019 – 5 reasons women make the best bloggers

The quest for excellent blog writing has not lost its momentum and it has to be said that there are some great blogs out there. I find that most of my favourite blogs make me laugh, teach me something new and are written by women. It was the last item in this list that made me wonder whether or not women actually made better bloggers than men. Here are my 5 (tongue in cheek) reasons to suggest that they do… Continue reading “International Women’s Day 2019 – 5 reasons women make the best bloggers”

How a freelance copywriter found business support in Devon

My fondness for my career as a freelance copywriter in Devon has been well documented. I love the research (particularly if it takes me outside), I love the learning (writing on new topics is great for that) and I love the writing. Over the last few months however, I have recognised an issue in my approach to business. I have no problems allocating copious amounts of time to activities that are direct money-bringers but feel a measure of guilt if I syphon any of this precious time over to business-building. There is a historical reason for this, when I first needed to make my writing pay, I set myself a ‘jobs priority’ list that put ‘paid work’ at the top and ‘business growth’ nowhere at all.

Continue reading “How a freelance copywriter found business support in Devon”

Words I don’t like… but, as a copywriter, sometimes have to use

I have friend who strongly objects to the words ‘juxtaposition’ and ‘moist’. Her objection to the latter is so strong that she has been known to tell people off for using it, but she is not alone, my research suggests that, as a nation, we prefer our vocabulary desiccated rather than clammy. We all have them, the words that irritate, grating on our nerves whenever we hear, read or (God forbid) say them. As a copywriter I have to be prepared to write about anything (well nearly anything) and use vocabulary that will be appreciated by my target audience. This has led me to some conflict and the occasional trip to the confessional (in the form of my husband) to admit my guilt. Here are my three most disliked word-rant words.

Continue reading “Words I don’t like… but, as a copywriter, sometimes have to use”

Talking to myself… creativity or a touch of madness?

My name is Fi and I talk to myself.

Well, to be honest, I talk mostly to inanimate objects and reserve self-talk for those occasions when I need a good telling off (obviously I am the only person allowed to criticise me). Recent conversations have included a remonstration with the sea when it surreptitiously lapped a wave onto the prom and over the tops of my trainers, words of gratitude to the trees that had been holding up my hammock for the night and a discussion with a crow that was trying to eat chewing gum.

Continue reading “Talking to myself… creativity or a touch of madness?”