“No matter where you look at it, work is work, and joy is joy, come back when you’ve mixed both,” is a quote I always say to others who say they want to learn freelancing from me, and although I may seem harsh by the first reading, it is actually a decent lesson that one can get when they want to start freelancing, because from what I experienced, there is beauty in freelancing than what meets the eye.
FREELANCING: THE BEAUTY AND ITS SUCCESS
Before I started out on my freelancing journey, I was a freeloader. Of course, as a senior high school student, I was still busy with research projects, hanging out with friends, and experiencing the ultimate high school-life without knowing what better to do with my free time. It was only through my friend, who was doing student commissions at that time, where I was introduced to freelancing as a way to earn money, and from that time on, I started to do freelancing.
Now, almost 2 years into my freelancing career, I am now highly proficient in my skills, developed through my projects, all while enjoying every single part of it. Why? Because I consider it as something more than a job; I consider it as a joyful endeavor and a way of improvement.
A JOYFUL ENDEAVOR AND WAY OF IMPROVEMENT
In the freelancing world, amidst the changing projects, clients, and payment you can receive after a project, there’s something that you’ll constantly encounter, and that is the need to improve for the better. I overheard someone say to me before “Improvement is not to become new, it’s to introduce something new,” and I agree to this to a deeper extent.
Improvement is necessary in the freelancing world, because without any sign of improvement, there’ll be no sign of progress. To tell you of my experience, as a beginner copywriter, I wrote a boat rental site and, not knowing the structures of one, I was stuck to what I think it should look like. Of course, I was in a rut, writing aimlessly and solely on my imagination, and so, I was enlightened to research on some sites I could follow, and so I did. And this, by itself, is improvement.
It may come in a lot of ways for you; as a graphic designer, you introduce yourself to unique elements for your project, or maybe as web designer, where you input a lot more elements in your website, in any case, there’s no one way to improve, there’s only many ways to improve one trait of yours.
This goes on to our second important factor: enjoy it. Even as we learn and improve in a serious manner, we must not forget to at least take some time to enjoy every part of it. Enjoyment is always an important factor to learning something new, at least for me, because it makes everything easier, and although it may seem hard at first, with all the stress that it can bring you, once you learn to find enjoyment in it, you’ll see yourself improving in no time.
And lastly, the one greatest virtue to accompany all of this is patience. Consider all your work as a lightning in a bottle, unique and relatively beautiful, and so, it needs to take time, and a keen eye for all. After all, you are a freelancer, you should take all the time you need, considering you want great excellence first for a greater reward later.
EXCELLENCE FIRST, A GREATER REWARD LATER
As a person, we always find ourselves being tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Just like me, you will see that there is a difference in tone between the first time in a project, and the 15th time you do the same project, and if you find yourself doing just that, then here is a quote for you: “Excellence first, a greater reward later.”
This is a definitive factor for separating a freelancer, and a great freelancer, the ability to create a quality project, with nothing in mind but their work while finishing it. For me, that’s where you know you’re doing better than most, when you look for an excellent quality before the reward it brings.
And sometimes, the easiest way to get excellence is to let a project rest.
TIME IS AN ESSENCE FOR REST AND WORK
As I journey on into my career, I find many more freelancers like these, and although I can’t blame them (maybe the project is too hard for them or maybe they’re way too tired), sometimes, time is just something you really need to finish this. They stress too much, without knowing that maybe what’s better is right in front of their eyes, and that’s what is common with my experiences.
To tell a story, I had a client wherein their project was so stressful for me as a copywriter; they always want something more, and for more than a week, I was burnt out of ideas, and so, I took a breather, and for a day, I only played games or read books to calm my mind, and it’s in these books and games where I got a whole load of ideas, and when I wrote it in paper, they liked it, and let me continue.
Moral of the story: always take time to do everything. Time is an essence in freelancing, and whether it be for work, or rest, you must learn to cherish the time you give to both of them. Believe me, when you learn of it, you’ll not only learn of great balance, but also the power to control any day.
Freelancing is an art, at least for me. In my 1 year of freelancing, I learned too many things I wouldn’t have learned easily in books or lectures in school, and will continue to learn more in the future, and I hope that you, reader, can look at my journey as an inspiration or a starting point. But then, I will end you with a quote you’ll most likely hear from me when we meet: “No matter where you look at it, work is work, and joy is joy, come back when you’ve mixed both.”