The last week of the year isn’t what I expected it to be; it’s packed with so much more.
I’m a writer. My Instagram and LinkedIn paint two contrasting pictures.
On Instagram, you’ll see pictures of me catching up with friends, drinking, partying, and ending the year on a high. Every day is a new adventure, every meeting a fun-filled ride.
On LinkedIn, I talk about the client deals I’ve completed recently, the lessons I learned from freelancing, and share tips that would be helpful for other writers as well. I post consistently, never less than once per day, and my posts will tell you I’ve been having a pretty successful run as a freelance writer.
If you saw one platform, it would be hard to reconcile it with the other.
Where, then, lies the anomaly?
In truth, there isn’t one. My life, like these two platforms, is currently a bundle of contradictions.
In this article, I’m laying out the two sides of my life and how I’m navigating the last week of the year. Read on for an insight into what it means to be in the shoes of a full-time writer during the holiday season.
The holiday that wasn’t a holiday
After I completed my 5-day live training program on becoming a highly-paid writer, I decided to take the last 9 days of the year completely off from work.
Yet, in my field of work, ridiculous amounts of work are usually expected.
When you’re a content creator, platforms and algorithms don’t tend to be very forgiving of long days of absence. If I stop publishing for nine days, who knows how long it will take for me to get back on my feet with the same level of views and engagement as I was previously getting?
And so, I give the algorithms (and my audience) what they expect: regular doses of my creativity. I schedule my posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter in advance by using a free tool called Publer.
It takes me 1–2 hours to schedule content for a week in advance. But this serves as an amazing investment in myself because it makes sure my audience doesn’t feel left out, and the platforms don’t start favoring other creators over me.
And so, even though I was technically holidaying, I scheduled posts until 31st December. This has given me immense control over my time, while at the same time, keeping up a consistent posting schedule on social media platforms.
Freelancing rarely means freedom
I might be on a break from work, but since my freelance clients are paying me based on deadlines and the amount of work I do, I can’t really go AWOL.
There are still social media posts to write, content to schedule, and meetings to attend before the year is done. As much as I wish I could forget all of these and relax, my freelance income pays my rent, and I can’t ignore it in favor of some relaxation.
This holiday season, I did my best to maintain some semblance of work-life balance by spending 30–45 mins a day in short bursts throughout to sort through my content on various platforms.
For example, on 25th, I had two Christmas parties to attend in the evening. I had to get my hair done in the morning, and so, after I got back from the salon, I spent about an hour and a half finishing up some work so I can enjoy myself guilt-free at parties in the evening.
This might sound like a lot of work, but it was pretty manageable. Especially because I didn’t have to work all day long, and the planning I’d done previously helped.
What this means for my new year plans
When I quit my job in August 2021, I thought I would live the rest of my life as a content creator and freelance writer.
It’s not even been four months, but the incessant grind of freelancing has already worn me down. Much as I enjoyed my stint, I’m convinced that I won’t be doing freelance writing for much longer.
The reasons are simple: I have very little control over what I get to write and when. And to top it off, since I’m only writing articles for a company, I rarely get to make decisions that would alter the trajectory of their growth and leave some impact. At times, this does get on my nerves.
I’m still not sure what I’ll do if I quit freelancing. But, the break during this holiday season has helped me come to terms with what I don’t want to do: write content for other people.
I’ll still take up offers if the pay is good and the project interesting. But in 2022, I will explore several other avenues, including, but not limited to:
- Exploring Web 3. I believe this holds the key to the future of the internet. I don’t want to miss out on capitalizing on it while the wave is still riding high.
- Building my digital products. The first live training program I did had such immense success, that I’m convinced this is my true calling. I also enjoy helping other writers out so much, this might even be my life’s calling, who knows?
- Publishing my first full-length novel. I’ve published three books so far, but I’m looking forward to publishing my first novel soon. The manuscript is complete at 80,000+ words. and 2022 will be the year when this fruit of my labor finally gets to see the light of the world.
The opportunities are unlimited in the creator economy, and I can’t wait to see how the future unfolds. I may not know yet what I want to do for the rest of the next year, but I’m willing to explore possibilities and take on new challenges. 2022 is going to be a blast, and I can’t wait for it to get started!
With work and partying balanced on my platter, this is how I’m spending the holidays as a self-employed writerpreneur. How does your last week of December look like? Let me know in the comments.
I’m also gorging on unhealthy food and spending a ridiculous amount of money throughout the holiday season, but I shrug it off as a once-in-a-year occurrence, with the self-assurance that I’ll get back on track when I need to.
After all, the whole world is in a festive mood. It’s okay to break some rules and do what your heart wants, isn’t it?