“Stress is poison”, as Agave Powers says. For us as freelancers, stress can poison the whole process of working, and spoil the fruits of our efforts. Freelance writing is often known as an unhealthy and highly pressured way to earn a living, and rightly so.
What we need are some quick and effective remedies to keep the process of freelancing as intriguing, remunerative, and personally rewarding as it can and should be.
Getting rid of stress is a vital skill to master, because we want to avoid its negative consequences, even the potential failure, of our freelancing career. In general, stress in freelancing can be overcome by effective time management, frequent and regular change of activity, and reasonable expectations about deadlines and workload.
Any freelance gigs, including freelance writing, which can precipitate stressful situations, require preventive measures such as proper time management. To avoid negative outcomes from too much hurrying, the freelancer needs to figure out how to allocate time appropriately. It is helpful, and in fact, necessary if your workload is at all complex, to create a detailed schedule and plan. Then, using this as a guide, you can perform the tasks in the plan according to your schedule, step by step.
It is strongly recommended that these steps are tasks are not postponed until the last days or hours before the deadline! This is a sure-fire route to stress and non-fulfillment of your obligations. As a corollary to this suggestion, you need to Herewith, you should be as realistic as you can be in your estimation of time required for any orders. This, by the way, is one of the most important skills to acquire promptly, and one, unfortunately, of the most difficult to perfect. Thus, a successful freelance writer needs to become an excellent time manager, with the self-awareness and organization to set up a plan for work, and the self-discipline to adhere to it consistently.
Effective stress management in freelance writing also means taking advantage of every opportunity to change activities when it is necessary. If you feel that you are getting bored with a particular subject or genre, by all means pursue different ones. You can also find constructive ways to distract yourself, accomplish something around your house, or take a brief rest. In other words, you need to have realistic expectations for yourself and your reactions to extended writing sessions, and take proactive steps to control the way you work to compensate for them. Hence, a change of activity, subject, or genre can give you a boost of new creativity and energy, and avert the ill effects of stress on your work.
The stress of freelance writing can also be mitigated by suspending one’s concentration on details, and trying to perceive things with greater relaxation and mental distance. Considering how much time freelancers spend in front of computers working, it is crucial to be reasonable about what they can complete. John De Paola recommends, “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you”. This means that you do not have to hurry up and to do everything at a dead. On the contrary, you have to focus on the key points and concentrate on them.
Sometimes, you know just from looking at or investigating an order that it is going to be a horror show. It may not fit your time availability, talents, and access to materials from the customer or online databases, or experience. In such a case, please be reasonable with yourself and fair to the customer. Turn it down – repeat – turn it down! Otherwise you may fail to meet a deadline and damage your reputation or relations with your client. Thus, freelancers have to be sober-minded and reasonable people since such traits tend to result in successful and on-time completion of tasks and a lower level of stress.
To conclude, averting or reducing stress in freelance writing depends on the writer’s ability to arrange work time effectively, alter routine and activity to avoid boredom, and remain reasonable about workload and deadlines. Thus taking and remaining in control of your own life and work style, as well as keeping your expectations realistic, are essential attributes of a successful freelance writer. With these characteristics, a writer can anticipate a satisfying and healthy career.