Gen and I are getting closer and closer to this title every week. All we do is work. We both work from home we rarely go outside. I have barely seen a friend in weeks. Celia claims to now know what I look like anymore.
Is it fun? Are we rich? No and no.
In that case, why are we doing it and why haven't we stopped?
Is the answer 'Its the nature of the freelancer'? You never say no to work because you never know if a dry spell is around the corner. So you end up doubling and tripling up work, and the deadlines all seem to be at the same time.
You're working from home, so when there's nothing on TV you drift into the office and 4 hours later its midnight on a Sunday and your eyes are square and you realise you're about to get up and do the same thing in a few hours time.
It's beyond your control, the work guides you, you have to take what's there, its the sacrifice you make for being your own boss and not having to pay a cut to anyone.
Bullshit. I don't think we work smart. Or for me at least (I've got a growing conviction that I'm far from smart in general).
I have freelance friends who don't live like this. Their home offices are neat, they can't be reached on weekends because they're off doing something. They enjoy what they do. They don't whinge and moan like I do all the time. What are they doing right that I am not?
There are a few things that I want to change in the not too distant future which I think will make a world of difference.
Firstly, I have to be patient and wait for the film festival work to be over. It deserves alot attention but is not very well paid. A normal week's work is done around the 8-20 hours that go into the festival. I get stressed that the festival is getting behind, (especially this year with so many more stakeholders to keep track of) and reduced available hours means my other work suffers - I'm rarely satisfied with the work I submit.
Next there's software and hardware shit. My external hard drive died this week (fingers crossed the data can be retrieved, but it will be expensive), but more stressful and inhibiting on ability to work fluidly, has been problems some of with my software.
I don't think I've ever paid for software; if I did pay for everything I used on this computer I would have a much lighter wallet. My sort of design does require a wide range of programs, all of them expensive - word processing, film, sound and photo editing, 3D modelling and rendering. But it's just got harder lately and after many many wasted hours trying workarounds, I will be shelling out a substantial wad of dough to purchase a couple of programs. But at least I won't be stressing about finding a solution and losing time. This will help me a great deal. Who knows, I may even feel like shelling out for the new Creative Suite when it comes out soon.
Since returning from Qatar its been pretty hand-t0-mouth without much strategy behind the clients I want. As a result I take everything. In a few months I hope to have the time to update my showreel, folio and website, and actually go out there and hit the places I actually want work from. I'd like to think that if the job didn't interest me, or I was too busy, I would say no.
Lastly, soon Gen and I will move over to a more 'business' way to run our businesses. This should help us both have a greater overview of work, hours, bills, pay. Seems crazy that it has taken us so long to get to this point, but there you are. Perhaps as a sole trader it doesn't feel so much like a business.
So here's hoping that within a few months all these thing will be lined up and I will find myself with the time to do normal stuff like hanging out with friends, going away to see Dad or Zander for a weekend, going to bed at normal times.