Around about this time of year it becomes apparent that we’re all human, and sometimes something’s got to give.
This year, for me, it was Christmas cards (again) and house decorations (again).
It’s not that I don’t get into the Christmas spirit, it’s just that I haven’t got into the Christmas spirit. Let’s just say that when you have a ton of work to do and no time to bingewatch Christmas films, it just isn’t the same.
I tend to leave work around a week before Christmas and start back in the first week of January (hey, I rarely get a proper holiday during the rest of the year), but this year I’m having to work right up until Christmas Eve (I know, boo hoo, poor me).
So, I’ve decided that:
For freelancers this time of year can be quite depressing. Unlike our gainfully employed colleagues the Christmas parties can be thin on the ground (the Northern Editorial Christmas Shindig this year was taking time out to go and see Wick Players’ Panto; we like to support our amdram rivals) and there’s nothing quite so sad as a party plate for one complete with a bottle of Prosecco drunk through a straw.
But for freelancers the festive season can also be quite liberating. The Christmas/New Year lull is the perfect time to look over the past year and see how it’s gone. We can see what has worked, what hasn’t and what has potential.
I’ve realised that:
With this in mind, for me, what has worked has been: sticking to my business plan, not saying yes to poorly paid work, and stepping back before immediately saying ‘no’ to something.
What hasn’t worked: I’m still not there with getting my quoting system right and I’m still too quick to give added extras to clients (the clients often don’t realise, but my bank account and timesheet does).
What has potential? Well, I’ve gained more work on memoirs and histories this year (which is something I love) and think it’s something I could take on more of. I’ve also done more designing too, which has the potential to grow.
This is all well and good, but there are still improvements to be made. So, my New Year business plan includes:
Taking time out to reflect like this doesn’t take too long and can be a really valuable insight into your work. So I’ll leave you with this:
I’m taking a couple of weeks out from blogging: I need to refresh my batteries, finish the work I need to do and drink copious amounts of Baileys and Rock Rose Gin (not together, that would be minging).
Have a lovely festive season everyone, be kind to yourselves and remember – freelancers need rest too (unless you have two corgi puppies … in which case, you may never sleep again).