KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, October 14, 2021

When the Freelance Work Well Runs Dry for a Bit

Fellow self-employed editors, I want you to know that you can find ways to survive difficult times.

I have been self-employed full time as an editor since 1995. I've always marketed my services by various means, and I have built up a good clientele over the years.

I thought that the COVID-19 pandemic wouldn't affect my workload; it didn't for the most part. But until just very recently, I had been very low on work for about 2 months, because so many of my physician-authors' studies—and thus the articles they would write about them—were put on hold because of COVID. I had been working extra hard on marketing to combat that, and working very, very hard not to let my chronic depression ramp up and overwhelm me.

But now things are getting back on track. Projects are coming in. Whew!

I am fortunate to have a mate whose income mostly covered our living expenses, though there have been tight times and he has had to work a lot of overtime to help bridge the financial gap. I realize, though, that some of you do not have a partner bringing in income, and that can be very difficult.

I am here to tell you that keeping up with my workday routines, including keeping in contact with you in Facebook groups, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and via email, helped keep me from going off the rails. The editorial community is a generous one, and I thank you for that. When your workload disappears for a while sometimes, do not drop out of touch with the community. Human support is vital.

Do not stop marketing, and that includes keeping in touch with the editorial community and with clients and related contacts.

Do not stop reading editing-related news.

If you can afford to do so, keep taking short courses and attending webinars to learn new things.

Do things that you normally enjoy doing. Do not lie down on the couch and stare at the TV for hours each day. If you were already taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds, do not stop taking those, because your life may depend on them.

Do not keep your fears about temporary work loss private from your non-editor friends. Friends are people who support each other. Ask for the time you need from your friends, even if, like I am, you are a major introvert.

Keep doing these things, and the work will come back. It will. You can do this.

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