Home Useful Ones ‘Follow Your Own Clock’: Freelancing and an Important Truth

‘Follow Your Own Clock’: Freelancing and an Important Truth

by Prabs
2 minute read

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll have noticed I don’t publish as much as I used to. There is a story (and an important truth) behind this which I’d like to share with you. It could be a useful spark for anybody who’s longing for a change in direction but feels hesitant and stuck in their own mental battle. If nothing else, it’s a short and reassuring example of how the moral ‘all in good time’ is often relevant and accurate in life.

in 2013, I launched this blog, as an outlet for my love of writing and a way to rediscover my own identity beyond motherhood and domestic life. To my surprise and delight, something that had started out as a mere passion project quickly gathered momentum, going on to generate several viral posts, make nomination shortlists and win an award. It was satisfying enough for a while before the realisation that the 50 hour weeks I was putting in should surely lead to some sort of monetary benefit.

And that’s when it all started unraveling.

Social media platforms made it next to impossible for bloggers to drive traffic to their sites. Brands wanted to pay beans for advertorial placement yet still expected stellar content with high engagement. The very nature of blogging itself started changing from what it was when I first started; as a result, I too was changing. Blogging, to my dismay, simply wasn’t bringing me the same life-affirming joy it once had. The content I found myself producing in the quest for an income made me miserable; just looking at my own site was soul-destroying!

Suffice to say, something had to change. It was time to move on.

Should I stay or should I go go GO?

It was clear to me that the days of relentlessly chasing my tail trying to make my blog a commercial success had to end. But I also knew whatever I pursued next professionally still had to involve my passion: writing. 

Having dabbled in a few projects here and there when my kids were younger, I’d realised (way before my blog’s launch) that I wanted to become a freelance writer. Now, years later, instead of firmly putting Absolutely Prabulous to one side and forging ahead to make this a reality, I found myself totally stuck…

Was it the fear of failing in my chosen future direction?

Or guilt over ‘walking away’ from full-time blogging?

Or not finishing something I had started…achieving ‘big bucks blog’ status?

Yes to all of these.

This self-sabotaging state of limbo between my blogging past and freelancing future lasted about three years. Then to my relief and delight, freelance opportunities eventually started cropping up in 2019. And boom. Covid hit the next year and stalled things.

While lockdown kicked in, I busied myself building and launching the new look Absolutely Prabulous site in 2020 which at least lifted my blog spirits (you can read the full ‘confessional’ lowdown here).

So now comes a new chapter.

After two years of disappointments and hurdles caused by the pandemic, things started moving slowly ahead at the start of 2022. And I mean sloooowly: the husband was away for work almost solidly the first four months, the youngest was on crutches for weeks, we had numerous Covid quarantines from school and a big client project that was supposed to start in February finally got approved in June. If it weren’t for taking up daily yoga and long walks, I’d have lost my sanity.

However, all good things comes to those who wait, as they say. After many frustrating delays and obstacles, I’m beyond happy to be able to say I’ve launched my freelance business, providing content strategy, writing and editing services.

The blog isn’t going anywhere, fear not. It’s still my cherished baby that I’ve nurtured and watched grow; my very own space when I get the urge to thought-purge about motherhood, Malta, modern society or anything that strikes me.

Do I wish I’d made the leap into freelancing sooner?

It is all too easy to berate myself for the years of procrastination, deliberation, hesitation and frustration.  But then I think of the brilliant life lesson Jay Shetty shares in this inspiring video that has stuck in my mind ever since coming across it:

Everything in life happens according to our own clock. Everybody has their own timeline. Don’t let other people rush you with theirs.

Lamenting over the ‘lost years’ where I coulda/shoulda/woulda been freelancing is just a waste of energy. Looking back with regret is futile; looking ahead with excitement is just better for the soul – and more helpful for business. Other things were happening in my life personally, one of my current clients hadn’t launched their business yet when I was still in my freelance limbo etc etc.

So you see…my timeline wasn’t then. it’s now.

(And frankly, when you discover things like Morgan Freeman didn’t even get his big acting break until his mid fifties, you just have to stop fretting!)

Prabs in front of home office area

Getting down to business

While I can’t talk about certain clients for confidentiality reasons, I can talk about one SHE (Social Hub of Entrepreneurs) Malta.

SHE is an organisation founded in 2017 by Sarah Woods and Julia Perry to bring together likeminded women and provide inspiration, resources and support to both aspiring and established females in business. Sarah and I came across one another on Instagram a few months after SHE’s launch and then bumped into each other in a shop a few weeks later (yes Malta is small). I started attending their live events and some time later, helped out on a few of them before the pandemic hit.

Following your passion is a wonderful thing. But it’s even more special when your clients are people whose vision you admire.

I recently ran into Sarah again at a cafe (told you Malta is small). Several conversations and some fruitful meetings later, here we now are: I’m delighted to be producing articles for the SHE blog these next few months.

Sarah’s (seemingly limitless) drive and sustained commitment to supporting the female entrepreneurial community is something this little country needs – and is lucky to have. So I’m honoured to be part of SHE Malta’s continuing journey.

Dreams, patience, confidence…

To round off, I would say this: If you want to change paths but feel like the timing’s wrong or you can’t ‘walk away’ from the one you’re on, just remember everyone has their own timeline.

You’re not too soon. You’re not too late.

Follow your own clock.

You can read my SHE Malta articles to date here:

From Silk in Motion to Community in Action

9 Tips to Help Businesses Stay Motivated in the Summer

10 Useful Lessons in Life and Business from the Queen

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