How to be freelance without going mad
Lessons learned from 26 years of not having a proper job
I’ve been a self-employed, gun-for-hire for the best part of my 26 year career in the media.
I prefer the freedom and variety of being a freelancer. But it hasn’t always been easy, especially in terms of my mental health.
Working for yourself can be a minefield of insecurity, paranoia and loneliness. When I look back on my worst episodes of depression, anxiety and addiction, it’s clear that work and money were often significant factors.
Now I’m 48 and, on the whole, have managed to work out how to be freelance in the creative industries while maintaining a pretty content state of mind. It took me a long time but I think I worked out how to be creatively fulfilled, financially stable, relaxed, happy and not (very) insane.
In my opinion, success as a freelancer has nothing to do with process, daily routine, personal branding, refining your pitches or any of the other dreary bollocks you can read endless articles about on Medium.
It’s about perspective; working out exactly what you want out of your career and precisely how you want to balance it with the other parts of your life.
I’ve noticed more and more people in the creative industries are going freelance these days because the media is ‘in flux’/fucked.
So I thought write about how I’ve managed to get my head around being self-employed and sustained a decent career while still managing to spend loads of time with my kids, keep fit and occasionally play Fifa in the daytime without an ounce of guilt. This is how I do it…
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