At the end of last year I shared an Independent article on my Work from Home Wisdom Facebook page (which I still update when I come across something interesting to freelancers).
It was about what life is like after Vogue for former editor Alexandra Shulman, who resigned last year after 25 years and is now working freelance.
I remembered that article last week when A and I were in London and we both had last minute changes of plan. A friend who was planning to attend an event with me was unwell and unable to make the trip. And A’s lunchtime meeting with a client was cancelled because she was called to an urgent meeting.
So I went to the event on my own, and A found another way to fill his day before his next engagement. The friend we were staying with commented on how resilient he thinks we both are, as he has before when observing the upheavals of freelance life like contracts coming to an end or never materialising despite long negotiations.
This is the reality for freelancers – organising your time, what Shulman now perceives as ‘a vast, formless expanse to be navigated and moulded.’ Dealing with ‘the grey hours…The 180 minutes between 3 pm and 6 pm’.
Picking yourself up when your carefully arranged plans are ‘fouled by cancellation’ and keeping going when your ‘email is empty of any communication’.
Freelancers are paid purely on the quality and quantity of what they produce. And these days all too often put under pressure to work for nothing by fee-charging organisations who say they have no budget for your services).
So I’m passing on the praise and admiration of my friend, which I accepted gratefully, and his recognition of the bravery and strength the freelance life demands.
All you self-employed people, home business owners and freelancers deserve a massive pat on the back, and an acknowledgement of the great achievement it is just to continue day after day. I applaud you all.