Starting Out

How Can My Motivation to Be a Freelance Writer Backfire On Me?

It was a beautiful, fall weekend. The sun was bright and warm but there was still a chill in the air. I grabbed my daughter and we spent the entire day out. We went to the hair salon, did a little bit of shopping, and went for a walk around the track. We even ate out.

Now I’m sure you may be thinking, “That’s nice but what does it have to do with freelancing?”

How Can My Motivation to Be a Freelance Writer Backfire On Me?

Don’t let your motivation to succeed kill you.

Let me explain.

Whether you work from home full-time or part-time, there is just one piece of wisdom I must give you: don’t let your motivation to succeed kill you.

I think many of us, especially newbies, don’t really take days off like we should. We’re always wired in. We connected via internet at all times ready to write that epic blog post and respond quickly to emails. Our cell phones are on and ready to take that incoming call from clients. And if we go out, we have our trusty smartphones that will let us know real time when a new status update or tweet comes in.

At some point, this way of working eventually takes over our lives. But the truth is you need to relax at some point.

Take a break

And let me give you some reasons why:

  • You re-energize yourself.
  • You focus better
  • It helps get rid of stress
  • It helps you build or maintain relationships
  • You have less risk of heart disease
  • You have more motivation to achieve your goals
  • You boost happiness levels

Need I go on?

Taking a break is good for your physical health. And it does wonders for your mental health. You’ll be better focused, come back with more energy and motivation to get the ball rolling, and you also will get to work on maintaining your bonds with family and friends. All of that will actually lead to a boost in your happiness level!

It’s so easy to make the mistake of not taking a break – and no, bathroom breaks don’t count. And the hours spent sleeping doesn’t count either.

Don’t Let Your Enthusiasm Cloud Good Judgement

I was (and still am) a newbie to freelancing. So I was burning with an insane passion to make what I started work. I read the success stories of people just like me making $30,000 or $50,000 in just three months. I was motivated and on fire. I wanted to be the next success story.

I spent every free minute working on building my freelance business. I was so focused on creating that work-from-home business lifestyle that I started spending less time on my personal life. I got upset that I actually had to stop in order to handle real life issues like cooking.

Why the heck couldn’t my 9 year old just put a frozen dinner in the microwave and call it a day? And why does she need my help with homework? Why can’t my dad find someone else to take him to the doctor? Who has time to clean?

I abandoned friends and family.

And then I started to hate freelancing because it took up the precious, little time I had left in my day to spend with family and friends. I kept telling myself, “It’s ok if I spend all my time working because in the long run…”

But it wasn’t ok.

I didn’t start freelancing because I wanted to be a workaholic, loner. I started freelancing because I wanted to create more time for the things that mattered to me – things like my family and friends.

Just Chill and Relax

Don’t fall into the same trap that I did. There are many experts out there that will tell you must devote every second of your life to building your business until you reach a certain point in your success.

I disagree.

I’m nowhere near the financial goal I had hoped to reach from freelancing. Yet, I keep my weekends to myself. I check my email for important (and by important I mean life or death) messages twice a day. I don’t take part in any social media on the weekends. And I inform clients that I don’t work weekends. (And they’re usually OK with that.)

Trust me; taking a day or two to be part of the human society will not ruin your client-builiding efforts. In fact, it’ll make you a better freelance writer than what you already are.

Over to you – do you sometimes feel you are burning the candle at both ends when it comes to building your freelance writing business?

Leave a Reply


Finding a balance with work and life is so important, great post Raymonda!Reply to Lisa
Thanks! It’s so easy to get caught up in work, especially with being connected via the internet 24 hours, and then get burned out.Reply to Raymonda
Raymonda, This sure hits home! I have twin toddlers that I take care of during the day and I really have to stop thinking about my business and start focusing on my children when I’m with them. It’s easy to whip out your laptop, check your email, finish up a piece all the while your children are wanting your attention. Right now I have two buckets of laundry that needs to be put away. So, it’s a balance. You want to make a livable income off of your efforts, but at the same time, you don’t want your family life to suffer. I started freelance writing because I wanted to stay home and take care of my little ones. Remembering this helps me balance my tasks for the day!Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna! You’re right. I started freelancing so I could spend time with my daughter. But I got so caught up in work that I started neglecting the important things. Balance is key!Reply to Raymonda