If there were a university course for freelancers

Actually, there are elements of the freelance life in existing courses: I’ve been booked to talk to students about writing for a living. But The Freelancer website’s Danielle Corcione has written a funny, incisive and rather smart prospectus for a proper course. It begins with a module on Self-Care for Emotionally Unstable Writers before it goes into practical issues of money.

Have a read. By the end, you’d sign up for this course if she ever really ran it.

Under-promise and over-deliver

This is from last year but it’s a goodie from Lifehacker: it’s advice for freelancers about time management. Each section has a good summary of the issue and then links out to much more detailed Lifehacker articles. Here’s my favourite:

Picking the right projects and charging what you’re worth are the foundation for your life as a freelancer. The other main part is simply scheduling.

We’ve recently posted tips for how to better estimate time for projects, but you might want to double that time estimate or at least add some “buffer time”… That extra time is especially important when you’re tackling a new project area or it involves something highly susceptible to Murphy’s Law (e.g., when writing an article about upgrading a computer—everything will go wrong, trust me).

The more generous you are with estimating your time, the better you’ll be able to follow through on your commitments and follow the golden rule in business: Under-promise and over-deliver.

The Freelancer’s Guide to Time Management – Melanie Pinola, Lifehacker (28 August 2014)

Read the full piece.

Avoiding seasonal depression when you work alone

There’s no doubt that life as a freelancer has its perks. We get to structure our days as we wish, work with clients we like, and don’t have to sell eight-hour blocks of our day to an employer. But when working from home or at the local coffee shop, we face social isolation, which puts us at risk for anxiety and depression. And as winter approaches, it comes with a heightened risk of seasonal depression.

3 Ways Freelancers Can Avoid Isolation—and the Seasonal Depression That Comes With It – Michael Tunney, Contently (19 November 2014)

Read the full piece for advice.

Freelancers are warriors – semi-literally

The freelancer uniform of pajamas and workout clothes may be a stereotype we’re all familiar with, but a few hundred years ago, freelancers dressed for work in far different attire: suits of armor.

“Freelancer” was once used to describe a “medieval mercenary warrior.” There’s a career ancestry to brag about. Or not. It probably depends on your personality.

Where Did the Word ‘Freelance’ Come From? – Alyssa Hertig, Contently (5 November 2014)

Read the full piece which includes the book the word freelancer was probably coined in.