Disclaimer: In no way is this post a means to throw shade, but I get asked often if I’m still freelancing for certain media sites and my answer is NO. I’m just putting it out there for inquiring minds before I get started. 

Monday mornings, 3-5 pitches a week, research, deadlines, and pay per work contracts were a normal part of my daily routine as a freelancer. I would have to brainstorm 3-5 pitches each Monday to send to my editor for approval. There were days when my “word well” ran dry and I found myself surfing the web and other media sites targeted to my audience to see what was popular or trending. I would even use personal experiences and encounters as the basis for many of my articles.

There are several perks to freelancing should you decide to make a living out of it, but there’s also a high level of discomfort and unrest when trying to make it your sole means of income. First, the perks…you in a way work for yourself. You create your pitches and sometimes when you find yourself stump on ideas, they’ll provide some for you. You can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access.

On the downside, however, you are working for someone else when it comes to getting paid, although you can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access, you can’t really afford to be anywhere in the world other than home or local because you just don’t get paid enough with these pay-per-work contracts. Worst of all, you don’t get paid when you’re supposed to.

Whenever you sign a freelance contract, there are pay dates. Some freelancers get partial payment if it’s a one time project and will get the rest at the completion of the project. Some freelancers get paid bi-weekly just as a regular employee and then some get paid an accumulated sum of money for the work they’ve done for the month. Finances are unpredictable. You save, but then an unexpected bill surfaces, or you have to tap into emergency funds or you’re expected to get paid on a certain date per your contract, but when it doesn’t happen it messes up your entire flow. I found myself there all the time. Pushing deadlines, trying to keep my content creative and original, late nights because I can’t seem to get what’s in my head onto the computer screen only to be told that my payment will be late without even knowledge of when I can expect it by. So I’ve found myself in the red with so many bills, things getting cut off, subscriptions being cancelled, not being able to pay for things because I couldn’t get paid. We’re halfway into October and I’m just receiving payments from July. I haven’t even gotten August’s payment and I have no idea when I will.

So my logic is…you want your work on time? Pay me on time? Other wise I can do this s**t for myself.

What am I doing now?

My own s**t. I’m resurrecting this blog site after a two month hiatus. I’m editor in chief of Black Girl Magik where I’m managing writers and contributors. I’m also editing a teen fiction manuscript. At the end of the day, you can’t make people appreciate your work and your time, but you can do that for yourself.

xoxo

If you think this post is about me wanting a few hours to kill people without consequence like in the movie…you are wrong and something is seriously wrong with you. Please seek help, immediately.

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Anyhow, this post is about that moment when you realize your “plate” is just too full and it’s time to get rid of some things. Yeah that type of purge. Lately, my plate has been full. There’s nothing wrong with it because I can remember a time when I just had too much idle time and actually prayed for a plate filled with dope opportunities. I have that now, but it’s also to the point where things are starting to spill over. It’s like on Thanksgiving when everyone rushes to fill their plates up with enough food as to where they won’t have to get up for seconds, but then the paper plate isn’t strong enough to handle all that heavy food so it starts to bend and break and fold in….yeah that’s where I’m at right now.

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I currently write and produce content…mainly digital for a plethora of sites which means that majority of my day is spent in front of a computer with mush brain. I produce content for all of these sites while at the same time managing my own and working to build my own brand. I often find myself neglecting my own personal projects which is where the issues lie. There are so many things that I want to do for Wanderlust Musings beyond blogging. I want to host events, workshops, brand merchandise, travel, tours, etc. and I’m afraid my plate has just been too full. As I’m buried under deadlines on a weekly basis, I’m beginning to see that there are some things that I can most likely let go.

You know that feeling you get when things are winding down? You’re either running out of ideas or you’re just not motivated enough to even think of any. That’s when it’s time to let go. I’ve decided to purge some of the things on my plate in order to move forward. In moving onward and upward, it allows someone else to step up and step in.

Most of the times we feel like we have to have it all. We have to be everywhere, have everything and be in everything in order to be or stay relevant. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what all you do that keeps you relevant, but it’s the quality of what you do with what you have and sometimes less is more. Less allows for more intimate relationships better connections and interesting content. So I’ve purged my plate. I’ve lessened my load so that I can build a better brand for myself…for you all.

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Guess it’s time I practice what I wear. Lol

 

There’s a saying that goes when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, but there isn’t much talk about the process that goes into making the lemonade. There’s a cultivating process that begins and we all know that to cultivate means to prepare, develop, acquire and use. So you have this bucket of juicy and bitter lemons, but in order to make the perfect lemonade you need sugar, water, orange zest, mint and if you’re feeling adventurous…tequila…the silver kind (we’re all grown aren’t we?). You need to be able to balance each ingredient so that there isn’t more of something than the other because if there’s too much sugar than the lemonade acquires a syrupy texture. If there’s too much lemon it wouldn’t make for an enjoyable drink. It takes time and diligence and trial and error much like most good things that have developed in our lives.

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I’m writing a book, I’ve been working on this book for the last year. I’m tackling the genre of fiction which isn’t at all as easy as I thought it would be especially since it’s a full length novel (45,000 words +). Life gave me an idea so to speak, but the cultivating process of expanding this idea and putting it onto paper has been on that requires much diligence. It requires playing around with the twists and turns of developing a strong plot and objective. It’s about research. It’s about tapping into my imagination. It’s about finding the right amount of dialogue and third person narration. It’s about making sure things flow and reading, rereading and rereading everything from the beginning to make sure things are in order.

Some days I drop the manuscript and I don’t want to look at it for a few days. Some days I can write and write when other things aren’t getting in my way. Throughout this entire process, I’ve been learning how to be more diligent which means writing even when I don’t feel like it.

Cultivating Diligence

  • Think about your priorities. I quit my job to be a full-time writer, so dammit I’m gonna write! 
  • Make a goal list. What are some things that I want to accomplish as a writer this week? Month? Year? 
  • Remove distractions. Where do you spend most of your time brainstorming or writing? Are you a paper and pencil type of person? Do you prefer the quick flow of a computer? Do you always end up on Facebook, or other social media instead of writing?
  • Use time wisely. 
  • Devote yourself to the task at hand. (i.e today will be devoted to brainstorming, outlining and writing chapter three)
  • Be realistic. Can I really write 4,000 words in one day or should I narrow it down to something more doable?
  • Realize the value of your work. 

One of the hardest things to do is stay motivated when working on a long-term project that seems like it’s never going to end, but I’ll tell you one thing…looking at 50,630 words is a lot better than having zero and being able to cultivate this new spirit, it’s also trickled into other avenues of my life. It’s become present in my love life by being an amazing partner to an amazing man, it’s trickled into my spiritual life by picking up my bible more and learning how to apply what’s read to my life. Life (God) gave me the lemons (gifts, purpose, talents) he also gave me the strength to be diligent. Isn’t it wonderful how things come full circle?