Freelance work: What a difference a day makes

Last week, I felt like I’d never work again. Work had pretty much dried up since Christmas. If I’m honest with myself, I hadn’t had an awful lot since the summer. It was sporadic. When it came in, I dived on it and got on with it. I devoured it, I savoured it.

And then it was gone.

All I had was my daily social media for one client and the children’s books I use to write educational materials.

Looking for work had never really got me anywhere, but I’d been looking on and off since October. And, guess what?

It didn’t get me anywhere.

I made £67 out of it, editing a website for a small business. The small business may come back to me again and I will be happy to help out again, but it’s not going to make my fortune.

By last Wednesday, as I finished my penultimate children’s book for February, I was close to tears. I thought the work would never come.

I was having to face up to the reality that we wouldn’t have all the holidays we’d hoped for this year and we wouldn’t get our horrendous ensuite bathroom done. First world problems, I know. We’ve got a roof over our heads, we don’t go hungry and we have our health. I shouldn’t moan. But I felt sad about it. We really, really need that bathroom done and, when your husband works as hard as mine does (approximately 14 hours a day), holidays are really important.

A lot of my work has always come from PR firms with too much on. It gives me variety and it gives me the all-important money. But I can’t rely on it. It comes and goes and it’s unpredictable.

But maybe I just needed to contact more PR firms. Contacting small businesses certainly wasn’t coming up with the goods.

So I contacted about 15 local PR firms. And heard nothing back. I contacted some London firms too. I got a few ‘we’ll keep you on file’.

And then, on the very day when I thought all was lost, I got an email from a local PR company, wanting to know more about what I could offer. Could I go and see them the following day?

So I did. And it turns out I was just what they were looking for. There was talk of 20 hours’ work a week. TWENTY HOURS. That actually IS my working week. I will have to work longer hours to squeeze my other work in. I’ll have to give up sorting out washing and doing little domestic tasks in the day.

Give up cleaning the bathrooms? Bring it on!

I may have to run less, which makes me sad. I will almost certainly have to blog less, which is a shame.

But I need work!

When I gave up traditional work, I was looking for the work-life balance. That had been missing for a while. Not enough work didn’t mean more life. It meant half a life. Hanging around the house, reading blogs for something to do, chasing work that would never come, being afraid to spend money because I wasn’t earning any.

It was making me unhappy.

I want to be there for my kids. I want to take them to school and pick them up again. I want to go to school events whenever I can. But I also need to work for my sanity and my bank balance (and the mythical future ensuite bathroom).

Knowing the work was coming, I felt like a different person.

Lighter, happier, with a spring in my step. I was completely different from the person I’d been the day before. I was a person with a purpose.

And when I got home from my meeting, one of my other contacts had been in touch to offer me work for the first time in two months.

It’s kind of like it never rains, but it pours. Only in a good way.

Work, Work clothes, Selfie, 365, 366

Dressed for a meeting to go and get myself some work!

Author: Sarah Mummy

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29 Comments

  1. That is great news, I’m so glad for you. You had better start planning those holidays then!

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    • Thanks very much, it’s such a relief! I’ve got holidays and a bathroom to think about! Probably better do at least a couple of weeks’ work first 😉

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  2. That’s brilliant news, well done you for doing something pro-active it’s certainly paid off for you, best of luck woth your new job.

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    • Thanks very much! I was getting in touch with companies for a few months and just starting to think it was pointless. Such a relief that it paid off in the end!

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  3. Awesome news – good for you!

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    • Thanks very much, it’s such a relief!

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  4. That’s great news! It’s funny how things work out isn’t it? I bet you’ll soon be turning work down. Don’t drop too much of the blogging or we’ll miss you!

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    • Thanks very much! I don’t think I could ever drop the blogging. I just might have to post slightly less than usual!

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  5. There is nothing like having the security of work. Huge congrats!! The new contract is brilliant news, well done you!! I look forward to seeing posts on bathroom tiles now 🙂

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    • Thanks very much, I’m so pleased! Fingers crossed it’s happened in time to get the bathroom done in spring!

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  6. I totally know where you’re coming from. Its where Im at the moment myself. As i’m new to this freelance writing/editing lark i have few contacts. So that is brilliant news. Never thought of contacting PR agencies. I might give it a go though…..Go book that holiday!!

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    • I’d always been fairly lucky, but things had really dried up. I worked in PR in my previous life, so it makes sense for me to contact PR companies, although it may not be right for everyone.

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  7. Congrats that sounds brill! Just shows if you want something badly enough it comes to you eventually. Enjoy xxx

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    • That’s very true! Work had always come to me before, but I was starting to question whether I would ever get any more. Thanks.

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  8. Sarah, I’m so pleased to read this. I’m really delighted for you that you’ve got some work. I have also been thinking about upping my own freelance writing work and it never crossed my mind to email PR companies, I had just been contacting small businesses direct. So thanks for the heads up! Please don’t get so overrun with work that you stop blogging though, your blog is genuinely one of my faves and I’ll miss it if you’re not blogging very much.x

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    • Thanks very much, that’s such a lovely thing to say! I could never give up blogging because I love it too much. I might just have to drop down to every other day though.
      My background is in PR, so I have those skills in addition to writing skills, so it makes sense for me to work for PR firms. x

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  9. You look fab in that picture Sarah, so happy. Big well done on securing the new work, long may it last. Mich x

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    • Thanks very much, I really hope it does! I’m so happy about it 🙂 x

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  10. I’m glad it worked out for you. From my experience it generally does as long as you’re actively looking for work but knowing that doesn’t help in those quiet weeks. Self employment is scary!

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    • Thanks very much, it really is scary! It has always worked out in the past for me, but this was a particularly long wait and I was starting to question whether it actually would work out this time.

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  11. Thanks very much! I’ll give it a couple of months until I’m sure the work will keep coming, but a holiday would definitely be good! x

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    • Thanks! I really so! 🙂

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  12. YES!!!!! That’s amazing! As you know I have feeling a little bit lost and I was given a mini promotion at work yesterday so that will keep me busy and start prepping me for when the kiddos are at school. Gin all round! x

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    • Congratulations! That’s really good news. x

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    • Thanks very much, I really do! x

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  13. I know it was worrying you to be so short on work. Sounds like you might be able to justify a cleaner now (I know that’s what I’d do if I was earning enough to justify it).

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    • That’s what I really want too! I’ll obviously have to see if it carries on for a while before I take that dramatic step. It’s a real relief to have the work though – both financially and for me feeling like a productive and useful human being!

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