Have Your People Call My People

The Freelance Writer’s Journey, Chapter 9

It’s funny how quickly you can get accustomed to new jargon.

I’m learning new jargon all of the time in my doctorate. There is a certain way that professional psychologists are supposed to talk, and for a first year student like me, it feels like learning an entirely new language. 

Things like, differential diagnoses, transference, countertransference, nonmaleficence, and whatnot. During class I feel tempted to sprinkle more psychology-type words into my speech so I seem smarter than I am.

I’m also learning new words in the world of online business. Things like inbound, outbound, value proposition, economic buyer, and the like. I’m sure there’s at least 50 new terms that I use regularly, and had never heard of before August. 

It seems like every tribe has their own dialect. With one foot in each of those tribes, I’m starting to feel bilingual.

Wins In Week 9:

I got fully booked! That is to say, I usually have enough work to fill my entire calendar week. Originally I carved out some time this week to pitch jobs. I ended up being unable to/not needing to, because my time was filled with actual jobs. I had a couple of discovery calls that went well, and some more work came in organically.

I changed my Upwork availability from ‘30+ hours a week,’ to ‘less than 30 hours a week,’ to ‘As needed-open to offers.’ Feels so professional.

I’m starting to feel as if I end my weeks with a surplus of energy instead of a deficit, which is a new feeling. I was never that good at energy management in the past, but it is becoming a huge priority.

Challenges In Week 9: 

I had to shift around my weekly routines, yet again, because I hit another wall. On Thursday I woke up with absolutely no motivation to work, and ended up distracting myself until about 7pm rather than do anything productive. I decided that this wasn’t going to fly, so I took a closer look at my energy levels throughout the week.

I ended up making Thursday my day off (Sabbath) and giving myself a more regimented schedule. I calendared out all of my days from now until the end of the month, and I color-coded every event based on whether it was energy-draining or energy-adding. It feels wonderful to have everything organized by color for the next few weeks, to see my energy demands at a glance.

I also scheduled in some real breaks. I got into the bad habit of scheduling 4 or 5 hours of work in a row, trying to get everything done for the day in one sitting. Of course, this left me feeling overwhelmed and unwilling to even start. Now, looking at the week to come, everything feels doable.

Part of the problem was seasonal affectiveness hitting HARD last week. I made commensurate adjustments, like regularly sitting under a simulated sun light, and making tweaks to my sleep schedule so that I am always waking up at the same time every day. 

Preoccupation In Week 9:

I was still a bit preoccupied with money this week, but I’m getting better. I have a stack of receipts on my desk that I haven’t accounted for yet, which is a big step. Usually I budget absolutely every transaction as soon as I can.

Besides that, there was apparently some kind of election this week. I watched that fairly closely. It was fascinating to see how anxiety-wracking and stressful that many people found it. I found myself feeling some anxiety during the start, but I found myself at peace with whatever result about a day into the results being counted. 

On a semi related note, I started listening to Christmas music on Tuesday, with absolutely no shame.

Final Note:

I’ve officially been at this for two months now. Things are starting to feel normal. This job is starting to feel like “just what I do,” which is a strange feeling. However, it feels right.

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