Yesterday was Labor Day in the United States. A day where the labor force rests and we celebrate a job well done. But who actually rests on Labor Day? I took the train yesterday a few times, so MTA employees are still at it. I went to the supermarket, the coffee shop, I bought pizza, and even I worked as I photographed a show last night. I even spent the day editing pictures and searching for more work. So who stays home from work on Labor Day? From what I can tell, people with office jobs.
But that's not the point of today's post. The point is this - there is little time for "rest" when you work freelance. Every day I think "where's my next paycheck coming from?" This means I have to spend at least an hour or more searching for new work or keeping contacts fresh. A day without work isn't really a day off - it's just a day to find more work.
Rest and relaxation are important for any line of work but it can be hard to find when you're in freelance. You don't have a set schedule, there's no such thing as weekends or holidays, no sick days, no vacation time, it's all up to me. Sure, I could decide to not book a day, but why would I do that? I need contacts. Hell, I need money! I can't turn down a job because I want to rest. I don't know what or when the next job will be! Gotta keep working. Gotta keep it going.
Keeping the motor going has been the most important part of being a freelancer, to me, so far. Every day I try to take a step forward toward a successful career. Be it during the week, weekend, or even on a day like Labor Day, I have to do something to push forward, even if it's just a post on Instagram (check out my stuff at Instagram.com/sd_conrad) or writing on this very blog.
But all motors burn out unless properly maintained. You have to change your oil every few thousand miles. For me, maybe that oil change will happen today? Or tomorrow? Or next month? Who knows? I make my own schedule. Maybe today I'll go to the beach alone while all my friends are in a stuffy office. Or maybe I'll just lay in bed with my dog and finally finish reading Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. All I know is - freelancers don't know the word "holiday." Holiday, to us, is just another day on the grind.