You may have noticed that this blog post has been uploaded slightly late. You may not have realised and perhaps may not actually care? It’s all down to being flexible.
I hadn’t written a blog this week due to having my head in some OU coursework. I haven’t finished it yet, but when you have to write, you have to write (I’m taking a Creative Writing course). It’s good to take time out to do something you really enjoy and luckily I have the kind of job where I can schedule time away to catch up on coursework.
That’s the joy of being freelance.
It’s sometimes difficult to take time off when deadlines are tight and looming, but I always try to add in a few days off here and there to recharge my batteries. It helps to keep things fresh.
If you aren’t freelance it can be difficult to understand just how flexible your day can be. For instance when I worked in the University library I would have loved a 10 a.m. start (even though we were on flexi-time), but that’s what I do now. I rarely start work before ten because I know my concentration doesn’t kick in until my second cup of coffee and a look at the day’s social media (or Heir Hunters if it’s on – I’m a genealogist as well as an editor, it’s valid to watch this programme before starting work, honest).
So, for a bit of enlightenment here was today’s schedule:
Coffee. Just. Coffee.
Check out social media and the OU module forums. Read some wonderful stories and worry that mine aren’t as good.
Sort out some paperwork for Thurso Players. They are a local amateur dramatic society (for want of a better phrase), and I am their Secretary. A bunch of paperwork has landed in my lap, which needs sorting out sooner rather than later. This takes an hour.
Get down to work. Phone some contacts for a client and arrange a couple of interviews for a book we are working on. Realise that one of the interviews will necessitate a day away from the office (it’s fab being so remote sometimes). Have a chat with client.
Work, with coffee.
Head off out. There is no food in the house and a sale on at New Look. Spend too long and too much at the clothes shop, then way too long and way too much buying the groceries. Grab a sandwich.
Head back home (it’s a 30 minute drive to our nearest large supermarket), then spend another half hour putting away the groceries.
Switch on the laptop to find out an OU assignment is ready to be picked up. Head to website, download results, do a happy dance then read the tutor’s remarks.
Reply to a couple of work emails.
Remember to write this blog.
It’s now past five and I’m getting ready to call it a day – I’m due at our theatre tonight. Every Friday I head off, from about 7 to 10.30 p.m., to be a responsible adult and watch over a load of excited kids intent on making as much noise as possible while learning drama and theatre techniques. It keeps me out of mischief.
So that’s just one day. As you can see there is a little work in there, but I had to be flexible. The shopping needed to be done and voluntary work needed my attention. Tomorrow I shall put in some work hours to make up for the hours away today. Monday will be all work. But if it’s a nice day I may go for a drive (perhaps to John O’Groats for lunch), then work into the evening.
If you prefer a rigid working life, clocking in and out at the beginning and end of each day, freelance life may not be for you. If, like me, you like variety and the chance to head out if you fancy and to rework your schedule, perhaps work in the evening or the occasional weekend (if YOU chose to, not if demanded by clients), then freelance life can be wonderful.