20 Feb When you can’t see the freelance learnings
I’ve had an up and down day. Story of my life as someone being in a freelance role. It started off with me trying to rush an editing job for a client and failing dismally because I was in such a hurry and it has ended off with me knocking over a glass of red wine over our couches – I’m tallying the cleaning bill in my head… I feel all the self-recriminations which range from “Why did you make such a rookie editing mistake?!?” to “You stupid one-eyed moron: you are totally worthless – why weren’t you more careful?”
Wallowing in the depths of failed delusions of freelance grandeur despair is totally appealing at this moment. Slithering into bed, covering my head with the duvet and consoling myself into a wine-induced coma is far more appealing than facing up to my demon of a day and facing it head on.
Yes, I did #@%*& up with the client
But you – as a freelance editor, writer, whatever – need to realise that it happens, sometimes – no matter how hard you try to make sure that it doesn’t.
What you do with the mistake counts. Take what I did.
I apologised and offered to fix my mess-up. They came back to me saying that they appreciated me offering to help to fix my mistake but as I couldn’t do anything about it immediately they had to give the job to another proofreader. Fair enough. I wasn’t able to help them straight away – which I was totally prepared to do – but the point is that I did own up to my mistake and was perfectly prepared to fix it.
Now with the couches
I feel terrible because of it. Because of me we had to shell out A LOT of money (cue one-eyed Suzy recriminations) but the point is that I apologised. I knew that I could have been more careful. I had the glass of wine in a precarious position which is why it spilled on the couch.
But what was significant to me in both of these experiences is that both of these people did not berate me. They did not attack me personally. My freelance work is my work. It’s something that I have created. It’s not part of me – although sometimes I do feel that I have given birth to it.
As a freelancer, running your own business, you can’t – under any circumstances – take things personally. It’s difficult, I know, but if you don’t you run the risk of now succeeding in your dreams and passions.