The Lonely World of the Freelance Writer

There are a lot of really great things about being a freelance writer. A flexible schedule means you never have to struggle to make doctor's appointments or meet a friend for dinner or finding days to go on vacation. After gaining a few steady clients, you can pick and choose who you want to write for based on your personal preferences and worldview. And of course, you get to hang out at home with your pets all day, and I'm a big fan of any job where I can bring my dogs.

But as you sit in your office dreaming of being your own boss, one thing many don't consider is their own personality type. This is not a gig for everyone. While the freedom is great, sitting at home in front of your computer meeting deadlines severely limits your social interaction (even if you do have a dog to talk to). For people who thrive on chats with the person in the next cubicle, transitioning to self-employment can bring on all sorts of unexpected side effects. 

Whether you're struggling with some anxiety, stress, or depression from not seeing other people from days on end, or you're just feeling a little cooped up, or maybe your butt just hurts from planting it in your home office chair all day, here are a few tips to keep you from going stir-crazy.

  1. Go out for coffee. Or maybe go out for lunch, or just go for a walk. The solution seems obvious if you're feeling the walls close in around you, but you'd be surprised how many people in this field don't realize that their mood can be affected by being alone and inside. A little sunlight exposure and a chat with the barista down the street can do wonders to improve your mood, not to mention your focus.
  2. Work from home away from home. If a short stroll isn't enough to break you out of that funk, grab your laptop and find a place with free Wi-Fi to work from for a couple of hours. The best part about being a freelance writer is that you can do it anywhere, so use that to your advantage.
  3. Get dressed. We've all heard the old stereotype about freelancers working at home in their pajamas or underwear. It's funny, and in many cases it's probably even true. But it's not for everyone. Some of us have trouble getting into work mode without putting on pants, and it's understandable. If you roll out of bed, have a bowl of cereal, throw on a pot of coffee and go straight to work, it can be difficult to switch your brain on. You don't have to dress to the nines, but trading the sweatpants for jeans can do wonders for kickstarting your day.

The longer you do this, the more you'll find what works for you. Do you have other tips to help freelance writers keep their focus? Leave them in the comments below.