Freelancing While Quarantined

I wrote about my husband and me adapting to sharing an office a little over a month ago when we were in the fourth week of working from home together and self-isolating. We weren’t even really calling it quarantine yet and it was not citywide mandate at that point.

I wrote that article on March 13 and it was meant to be more of a joke than anything. I knew the situation was serious but I wanted to lighten my own mood if not other’s through my writing.

By March 19, I got a little more serious and wrote about the anxiety and feelings of burnout from the constant barrage of COVID news.

On March 23, I decided to be useful and give some tips to working from home and staying productive, things I’ve learned over the last several years of working from home.

Two weeks ago on April 3rd, in our fourth week at home, I got a bit more serious about freelancing during a pandemic and how I am maintaining my business.

Which brings us to now.

6 Weeks in Isolation

Well, for one thing, I am pretty bored. But I am bored in a new way. When I used to get bored, I could go bother my husband and declare that we were going to try a new restaurant or see a movie and drown ourselves in movie popcorn. I could go take a walk or wander into TJMaxx for no reason or get a smoothie. I could just wander around the block. I could get a stupid new craft idea in my head and wander around a craft store and get lost in random craft ideas I’ll buy and not do. I could go do one of my favorite things: wander around Target.

I’ve been watching a lot of TV and I am still working on puzzles. I’ve also been working.

That’s basically it.

In fact, April has been my highest-earning month this year in my business. I’ve had 3 brand new projects come in, including writing some new Kickstarter campaigns for new products, writing landing pages, and more.

I have maintained the clients I had prior to 2 months ago. At the beginning of March, 2 of them had chosen to pause temporarily due to the pandemic and not knowing what was happening, but both have now restarted work with me.

I’ve had former clients reach out to me about editing books they’ve written or new things they have coming up.

Most of my clients are entrepreneurs who work primarily online, so it makes sense that people providing a service or working online is something that can be maintained during this time.

But I am having a tough time staying motivated to anything — work or not.

Mental Health Check

I am not ‘handling’ the isolation as well as I thought I would.

I’ve been working from home and pretty isolated for YEARS now. And that has been great.

But not being ABLE to go out and get a break from being home has taken a toll. I’m stressed and anxious. I can’t turn my brain off enough to sleep well at night and have gotten only a few hours per night. I’m either not able to fall asleep until 4–5 am or I take a sleep aid and fall asleep earlier but still wake up at 7 am.

I am definitely feeling stressed and anxious and I have only recently decided to go back on anti-anxiety meds. They take about 3 weeks to kick in, but they really help muffle the anxiety and emotional swings and help turn my brain off enough at night to sleep.

Listen, we are all stuck at home and we’re all dealing with it in any way we can. Please, be safe and healthy and take care of yourself — body, mind, and spirit — in any and every way you can.

There is no “wrong” way to deal with such complete isolation. You do you and we’ll all be waiting for when this is all over to rejoin the world again.

Check out my new book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!

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Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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