During the months that have elapsed since my last post, I have been examining where I am now and where I want to be in the next few years. This sort of self-examination was my intent during the current phase of my career, the transition after 25 years of full-time freelancing to part-time freelancing and pursuit of other interests.
I am currently in my fourth year of part-time freelance work. During this time, I have continued to do freelance medical writing and editing for paying clients. I also have published and marketed an award-winning book (What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants) and drafted other books for the same audience. In addition, I have ventured far from the world of writing and editing. One of my happiest diversions has been as a Central Park tour guide.
Earlier this year, I realized I had little enthusiasm for the paid writing and editing assignments that had been the mainstay of my freelance business for more than two decades. In part this was due to burnout, but it also was because of the low rates many clients are willing to pay these days when less experienced and less qualified help is available for beginners’ wages. I also was losing the creative energy that drove me, someone who always disliked marketing, to promote my book and to write other texts for freelancers. But the biggest energy drain came about because the program for which I have been giving tours is undergoing some ill-conceived changes that may well lead to its demise.
I finally put it all in perspective and came to the conclusion that I want to do more tours. I will continue to work as an independent writer and editor, for paying clients and on my own books. But I also will work toward getting a New York City tour guide license so I can give tours in addition to Central Park.
Having come to this conclusion, I have renewed energy for all my activities. I decided to go a different direction with my work-in-progress for freelancers and quickly drafted the revised text. I have entered with vigor into a new marketing campaign for What to Charge. I’ve responded with gusto to select calls for a freelance writer or editor on projects that appeal to me. Hours that used to be spent idly in front of the computer (and worse, in front of television) are now spent reading books about New York. I feel rejuvenated as a redefined self.