How Do I Approach Freelancing As a Marathon and Not a Sprint?

How Do I Approach Freelancing As a Marathon and Not a Sprint?

Freelance Skills Freelance Tips

I have tried both in my life – marathons and sprints. Given, the sprint was forced on me by my 8 th grade track coach and the marathon was a half marathon. But still, I understand the difference between the two. One takes force and the other takes stamina. Yet when it came time to launch my freelance writing business, I forgot all the lessons I had learned. I charged at breakneck speed into freelancing as if it were a sprint. This was unsustainable, both for my business and my life. A mixture of excitement and fear of failure led me to sit down at my computer at 8:30 p.m. (after already closing up shop) to finish my portfolio page. At 11:00 p.m. that night, my eyes were bloodshot and my dog was whining from loneliness. Another day, my husband and I made plans to rent a movie, but I pulled out my computer to tweak one little thing – and before I knew it, it was 2 hours later and too late to start a movie. I was running on adrenaline. But, like I expected, this didn’t last. It couldn’t, not for the marathon required to run a freelance business. It was unsustainable, both for my business and my life. Especially when first starting as a freelancer, I felt like I had to do everything all at once. Website, pitching, figuring out what SEO meant. I dashed from one task to the next without any method or plan of action. I know I’m not alone. So I’m sharing five helpful tips that I have learned that will help you maintain marathon-style thinking (and your sanity) in this crazy little thing called freelancing. 1. Create a Morning Ritual Like a runner’s warm-up prior to a jog, a morning ritual helps to ease into your day. It also helps you to remain present, to focus on the small joys of the day, rather than rushing to your desk first thing to send that client email. Before sitting down to write, I recommend you: Get ready. This includes showering, brushing your teeth, putting on makeup—whatever your normal routine of going to an office job would be. Wear normal clothes. Try not to fall into the trap of wearing sweatpants all the time because after a while, your work and your home life will become inseparable. Eat a good breakfast. Sit down at the table and eat something, even if it’s just a banana. Savor that cup of coffee. Do yoga or stretch. I like to spend a few mornings a week using Headspace, the meditation app. Or I pet my dog and she brings me lots of joy to start the day. 2. Don’t Work From the Couch Just like you wouldn’t run a race in sandals, don’t do your work from the couch. Or the bed. Or the floor. And definitely don’t have the TV on in the background. At a recent writing workshop I attended, run by Melanie Figg […]

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