The Pyjama Myth: The Freelance Writer's Survival Guide

By Sian Meades-Williams

Every single freelance writer is winging it. Sometimes they're even doing it while wearing pyjamas.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

On celebrating the small things

There's a huge mountain to climb when you're crowdfunding. 100% funded is the end goal - the book doesn't happen otherwise. It's a huge way to the summit and the significant points along the way: your first ten supporters, then 20%, 40%, 75% – are all steps towards that huge goal. And because it's such a long journey – The Pyjama Myth is 42% funded as I type this – it's so easy to whoosh straight past milestones without pausing for breath.

And so it often is with freelancing.

I've always been target-driven. In many ways, freelance writing works with this mentality. When you work for a large organisation you often have other people meddling with your goals. You have other people's targets and aims (and meetings that could have been emails) to juggle. When you're freelance, you can focus on what's most important to you. Sometimes that's your imminent deadline, but sometimes it's a newsletter about freelance writing jobs, or a spark of an idea for a book pitch. The freelancers I know are always busy working on something.

And we don't always remember to pause and look at what we've achieved.

When you get that big commission, you're already planning the outline. When that big invoice finally gets paid after you put pressure on the accounts department, you're busy chasing two more. Your celebration lunch is cereal because you don't have time to go to the shops. Maybe it's Weetos, though. Awesome.

I think when we stop and celebrate the smaller achievements, our bigger goals are much more manageable.

We're often told that success is a destination, but that's not true. A goal is a moveable feast. By the time you reach it, it's changed into something bigger, something that you couldn't have even imagined a year ago.

I can't reach my target or my goal without going through every single step. There's no shortcut here. The 10th pledge for The Pyjama Myth is just as important to me as the 100th. The first is just as significant as the last.

We're so focussed on being productive that we don't take a moment to recognise that we did something really cool. And we don't often have colleagues around to tell us. We forget to stop for a minute in the flurry of our huge to-do lists. 

I'm going to try and do a bit more of that. Not just in freelancing, but with crowdfunding, too. I'm hugely, overwhelmingly grateful for every single pledge so far (all 308 of you!) and I know that every single one is playing a huge part in the book becoming a reality. I'm so excited for the next steps and milestones that I hope will follow, but today I'm just taking a moment to be thankful for it all.

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