Peta Delahunty

12 ways of how to stay productive when freelance work slows

As a freelancer, I have times where life is going at formula one speed and I almost forget to
breathe, and then all of a sudden – the brakes go on! You’d think having some downtime
would be great but as a freelancer, it just gives you more time to panic – where’s the next
paycheck coming from? Am I ever going to get work again? Then the imagination goes into
hyperdrive, and before you know in your mind your business has collapsed and you are
homeless and destitute!

For my next trick…no copywriters are not professional magicians!

Seriously, there are times when I think people believe copywriters are either mind readers or magicians! Not because they are in awe of what they do, but because they don’t understand how to work with them. Therefore, there are occasions when a client will engage in a way that results in the copywriter being expected to produce copy (instead of bunnies) from a hat!

Freelancing is no easy amusement ride – it sucks!

Freelancing suits me but it is not a career choice for everyone and in all honesty, it can totally suck! I am not trying to put people off – with the industry growing at a significant pace, there are some great opportunities (a recent survey by Payoneer cited that in the US alone freelancers will comprise roughly 40 percent of the American workforce by 2020). However, if you want to be part of this growing industry you have to be prepared for a bumpy ride.

How to stay connected as a lonely freelancer

Having worked in busy offices, I understand the social benefits of being in close proximity to colleagues. Whether you are discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones at the coffee machine, bouncing ideas regarding a client or celebrating a birthday, these can be welcome distractions in your working day. There are even colleagues who cross the boundaries of work and become life-long friends beyond the confines of the office.

Why freelancers should free themselves of guilt

As I freelancer, why do I always feel so guilty? I could put it down to my catholic upbringing which, despite my lapsed status, is still deeply ingrained within me. Or I am simply suffering the well-known affliction of freelance guilt? A disorder that leads to daily self-reproach for just about everything – not being productive enough, working too little, having time off, not using every minute of the day to work, not doing enough admin – gosh the list is endless! With no formal set ‘desk hours’, you feel you should be working 24/7 or you are not working hard enough and wasting time.

How will stepping out of your comfort zone boost your success?

I heard this the other day and it really resonated. A few years ago, I returned to work after being a stay at home mum and the job I took was great but didn’t challenge me enough. Yet, it was perfect for building my confidence and re-affirm that I was capable and good at what I do. I decided I needed to push myself more and challenge my abilities. It was then I made the scary decision to become a freelance copywriter!