As a freelance writer, I follow a few freelancer blogs so I can keep up with current trends, get tips and hone my writing skills. (Sometimes they need a lot of honing.)
Sometimes, the tips are about more than writing. This week, Sophie Lizard’s blog How to Be a Freelancer had an article that was extremely useful in more than one way: How to Keep Freelance Blogging When You’re Mentally Ill.
I know when my symptoms are flaring up, I struggle. My work isn’t as polished because I lack the focus to self-edit as aggressively as I normally do. Some days, I don’t get as much done as I need to because it takes me hours to get on task and begin my day, or because halfway through my pile of work I’m so scattered I’m next to useless.
I power through if I can, or shift what I can to the weekend if I can’t. (I did this when I had a full-time job, too, and it was no less fun then.)
Sophie, along with fellow freelancers Kelly Gurnett and Lauren Tharp, all know the struggle. They are also freelancers with mental illnesses; Lauren Tharp has OCD, among other mental illnesses.
The three bloggers all offered a few tips from their own experiences. Among them:
- Build a strong support system.
- You decide how much or how little you disclose to blogging clients.
- Use online tools to schedule more efficiently.
- Have a written plan for projects and stick to it.
- Take days off. (Oops.)
Those are only a few of their fantastic takeaways. Definitely go check out the post for more information and tips.
And while the three women are sharing their experiences as freelance writers, a lot of these tips seem like they’d apply to any line of work, especially if you work for yourself.
The takeaway I got from this article, that they didn’t include? You don’t have to stick to mental illness blogs and forums to find advice about mental health. This is not the first time I’ve “found” other freelance writers and bloggers with mental illnesses, and every time I’ve come away with new ideas and tools that can help me take better care of myself.
If you need ideas for coping with mental illness on the job, try searching industry blogs and websites. There may not be anything helpful — or you may find more people in the same boat who can help you out.
Photo by andyp uk