I absolutely love this.
I’ve been a freelancer for over 7 years and while I wouldn’t give it up for anything (the flexibility, the freedom, the hella better money, the CONTROL most of all), there are so many dark nights of the soul. Every summer I panic a little less that it’s always, ALWAYS slow and try to make the most out of just getting out there and enjoying summer because Vermont winter. I adopted a dog last December and although she’s a pain in my ass 25% of the time, the forced outdoor time every few hours has been so helpful emotionally and physically. The days I don’t have work and my kids are at school are one big blank check to go hike for the day or take off because I know I need to get away from my computer or it’ll be refresh-refresh-refresh.
Over the years I’ve diversified what I’m working on and that’s helped enormously. But there are still days when, incredibly, four separate work / project streams all grind to a halt and I’m left thinking what. in the actual. fuck.
I know when I was working full-time as a writer (which I did for the first 15 years of my career) and was also responsible for finding and managing freelance writers, I’d always think MUST BE NICE when those freelancers were off traveling for weeks or couldn’t take a call after 2:00 in the afternoon. That part of it is obviously awesome, but the other side—the side you wrote about—doesn’t get talked about enough.
Also, as you mentioned, having a freelancing friend is so important. One of my design partners and I are expert at talking each other off the ledge when the “That was probably my last project ever, I’ll never work again” panic starts to set in.
In conclusion, raised fist of freelancer solidarity! [insert appropriate power emoji here]