I’ve been working 4 out of 5 weekends since the start of the Premier League Season, and beginning to feel what it does to my life: no time for my relationship, no time for my website projects, little time for photography, and I resent the same old problems every time I do a shift. This in turn makes me bitter and sarcastic, and the way I talk to my colleagues is beginning to cross the line.
This is not my employer’s fault of course, I have only myself to blame for agreeing to so much work. It’s the old Freelancer’s Attitude of “take it while it’s there” – but I really feel I need a break from it all. Even though the work we do over 24 solid hours at The Football Factory every weekend is quite exciting at times, I feel I need to do less of a good thing.
Hence I have decided to take a break from weekend work in December (except for Boxing Day) to re-energise my sanity levels. Richard Bagnall doesn’t want me to turn into “Dark Jay”, and I think cutting down is a step in the right direction. That way I can be back for more in January (and be much nicer to you all 😉 ).
The reason why I’m telling you this is because for every Freelancer, turning down a substantial amount of money in return for free time is a rather scary thought. Even more so considering the tax man wanting his money in January. Staffers get paid, even rewarded with holiday pay when they’re not at work, but it’s not quite the same for us. We don’t work – we don’t get paid, easy as that. Every one of us shares the fear of losing our entire existence when no work comes in – but the trick here is to not get caught up in the head lights.
After 10 years working as a Freelancer, I’m very happy to say that I’ve learnt to live with the anxiety and delightfully ignore everything it’s telling me. Scaring myself into thinking work may dry up has never made me richer, or poorer. The only thing it has done is make me miserable.
So I’ll say “thank you, but no thank you” to English Premier League, ESPN and SNTV for a month, and instead I’ll focus on my relationship, my File Transcoder project and on recharging my batteries.
Spare time during the week (and parts of my bank account) will be filled with three days at MTV for Digs and Milkshake. It’s in the neighbourhood and will allow for mellow 18km cycles to work (unless it’s too wet or miserable of course).
Thanks for being understanding. I’ll miss you all (apart from Andy) and will see you back in 2010!