The balancing act that fell over: work + freelancing + a life

Yes it’s true. Working full time and trying to freelance doesn’t work.

I’ve been freaking out a bit lately because my tenuous balancing act – of keeping freelancing projects going, of working full-time, of maintaining a happy and lovely personal life – has totally fallen over. The reason? It’s impossible (for me) to freelance as an editor when I work full time.

And it’s not even that it’s difficult. I get up early, I work until five, I get home at 5.30-ish (which is pretty good). Once you cook (or shop and cook), and eat, it’s after 7. And let’s face it, you’re exhausted by 3 pm anyway. I’m in bed before 10 pm these days. And those precious three hours I have spare are dedicated to relaxing my brain and body, hanging out with my gorgeous fiancee, and doing housework. Then, if you get sick like I have this year (a week and a half totally fucked, most recently, which has left me with no leave at all, so there are no holidays on the cards until next year), it’s even less possible.

Tell me, where do I fit in freelance work? On the weekends? The two precious days I have to myself, to actually have a life with aforementioned fiancee, go to open house inspections, catch up with friends, catch up on reading, movies, music? The two days I have to recuperate from the absolute exhaustion of the week? Not likely.

The other freelancing I do – PR work for Another Hell, writing for this here blog, writing reviews etc – that’s enjoyable. They are activities I do because they’re hobbies, not because I get paid and have other people screaming at me when I don’t do things on time. Even though the PR work will likely get to that point; here’s hoping, anyway. But I don’t have time for my other hobbies: sewing, crafting, writing screenplays and stories, playing music. That’s just all kind of dead in the water.

The thing I am facing now is a rush job on edits, which I have to do by next weekend (bye bye weeknights and most of next weekend). I’ll have to do them for absolutely no return because they’ve taken me so long. Then I have to tell this client, whose project is so nearly finished, that this is it, this is the last thing I am doing for her at this intensity. I have to explain to her that it’s not working, that I’m not going to have the time. I might have to ask her does she want a recommendation on another editor. And that will most likely make her cry. This project has been in the making for nearly two years; the end of it is pretty close. And I’m just… done.

Also, there’s another major project on the horizon. A doctoral thesis edit. I also have a book to read and provide feedback on, for someone else.

Sigh. It never ends. I want my life back, please. It’s been over five years since I had a normal life. Perhaps I should beg to go back to four days per week at work… but that won’t happen in a pink fit. And I need the money.

Fingers crossed I can get my mojo back over the next two months. If I can’t do it, I might just explode.


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