A frank freelancing diary in 100 days
I’ve been freelancing for over three years now and although it regularly drives me crazy, it also really gives me a structure for the freedom to do what I deem necessary, interesting, intriguing. After hesitatingly testing the waters for the first two-odd years, doing the projects that came to me, keeping myself to the things my mind could make sense of work-wise, I feel like I have finally taken the plunge.
I remember when I was starting out, the idea that I needed to create a list of services I offered felt incredibly alien. I looked at what other people did, how they presented themselves, what ‘could’ be done. What of what I did was ‘a thing’, an actual service people offered in the world of work? What could potential clients actually see themselves buying?
I had no idea where to start. I felt like I could not talk about what I did before I had formalised it enough to put it on a website. And then of course I had to build that website and put everything online. Then I would be a legitimate freelancer. Or so I thought.
I’ll write about the process in more detail eventually but the essence it is that I only actually started doing my own thing and chasing my own projects when I came back from my trip in Brazil and Italy last summer. Something in the combination of a simple, nomadic life in Brazil, having the space to listen to and give importance to my own inner voice and the month-long artistic residence I went on in Italy, gave me the boost I needed to finally dive.
Don’t get me wrong, under no circumstances have I ‘figured it out’. Don’t be under the impression that everything is settled, that every day is a great day and that I live the dream life of leisure and glamour. I struggle frequently, I think of giving up at least once a month and I’m always trying to figure out what is enough time dedicated, how to make my life and work support each other for me to feel abundant enough to be free, how much I can handle at once, what to pursue, what to say no to. And this is exactly the idea of this frank freelancing diary. I’ve longed to launch my own 100-day project for some time now but never found something I was ready to launch into. This feels right so I’m going for it even though doubts are rife. Do I really want to add another thing to my list of 101 things to do? Will I manage to keep it up? How much detail do I feed into this? How do I feel about my clients knowing about all of the mischief I get up to in terms of the many projects I’m involved in at the same time? How will I tackle other people’s privacy? How long, how much detail? And a million other questions my mind is asking. My answer? I won’t know till I actually do it. So in the spirit of action research (nod to Mario Gerada), I will be figuring out the methodology as I go and documenting the process in as much detail as I feel works here.
To help guide my writing and keep my focus, I’ve written my intentions for this 100-day project:
- To throw (harsh and frank) light on the world of freelancing in Malta and my trials and tribulations in finding better and more meaningful ways to work and live.
- To talk about the projects I am working on and encourage collaborations, spark side-projects, create links with others working on the same lines.
- To show that it is possible to do your own thing, that there is a necessity for creative working rather than trying to fit yourself into existing boxes.
I’m in for the ride.
Click here for the full 100-day diary.