What you should know about becoming a freelancer in 2020

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Photo: engin akyurt/Unsplash

I decided to go freelance in late 2019. I’d been a freelancer before, but transitioned back to full time work in 2016. For many years, I worked in the arts then big tech, whilst trying to write my novel and follow my creative dreams on the side. But after plenty of time obeying my corporate overlords, I was done with ‘normal’ working life. …

How to refuel your creative centre.

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

The phrase ‘Writer’s Block’ looms over all of us who dare to pick up a pen or tap out sentences on our computers. It suggests that we, the writer, have hit an impasse — we’ve strained too hard, or squeezed out every inch of creativity we had, with nothing left. Well, I have a confession to make…

I don’t think writer’s block exists.

Recently, I read the fantastic Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. In it, she talks about so-called ‘writer’s block’, and describes it like this —

“If your wife locks you out of the house, you don’t have…

Not as easy as it sounds.

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Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash

Accepting the term ‘artist’ feels like a huge step in the life of anyone who aims to be creative. Whatever labels we attach to ourselves, this one feels particularly loaded. Who gets to call themselves an ‘artist’? What does this really mean?

These are big questions, and ones it takes time to answer. But when we do accept the term for what we are doing — be it going professional as a photographer, or dabbling in watercolours, or trying our hand at a novel for the first time ever — being an ‘artistic’ sort has its share of problems. …

Cut through and get clear on communication.

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Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

There is so much passive aggression out there these days, and most people love to blame social media for it. In my view, that’s just one factor, and the bigger one is just good old fashioned human insecurity. So if you’re coming up against the ‘pass agg’, how do you respond in an effective way?

Living in the UK, and culturally speaking, it seems to me that there are contexts in which passive aggression is seen essentially as a natural extension of politeness. …

Your guide to negotiating anxiety in the form of panic

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Photo by Peter Conlan on Unsplash

Warning: I’m going to discuss in some detail what I experienced during a panic attack. This might be helpful, or it might be triggering. I just wanted to let you know it’s coming.

Recently, I had my first panic attack in years.

Luckily for me, I haven’t had a lot of panic attacks in the last years, so when one comes, it stands out sharply on the calendar. The fact that I’d been panic attack-free for so long made this one particularly stark.

I had mistakenly thought that doing my time in therapy, learning the tools and techniques, would always…

Deciding what’s right for you, regardless of what might happen

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Photo by Carlos Alberto Gómez Iñiguez on Unsplash

Humans are not famously good decision-makers. Particularly when we are faced with too many options. The more choices we have, the more factors we try to consider, the ‘better informed’ we assume we are, to make the ‘right’ choice. Right?

Actually, we’re also less likely to make and follow through on a decision in this scenario. To quote psychologist Barry Schwartz:

Something as dramatic as our identity has now become a matter of choice… We don’t inherit an identity; we get to invent it. And we get to reinvent ourselves as often as we like. …

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A sign with awesome pointing to the right, and less awesome pointing left.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Criticism is a part of life. Not everyone is going to like how you do things, what you do, or why.

But feedback comes in different forms. Some of it can be put to use. Some of it can’t. How do you recognise the useful from the not so useful, and respond with grace?

What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback or criticism is meant to be offered in a helpful, non-threatening way. It’s intended to help you grow, to help you learn and is thought to be true and valid. For example:

“I thought you prepared really well for that presentation, but it would…

Embrace happier relationships — even with ourselves.

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Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Some time ago now, I wrote an article about recognising the toxic people in our lives.

The other side of the coin to this article is the idea that we attract what we put out in the world. That if we act in a toxic way, we draw more toxicity to us.

How valid is that idea?

It’s not one thing or the other.

Yes, if you are behaving in a very toxic manner, you might be sending out a vibe that draws in those on the same wavelength. But that’s not always true.

We all inhabit different spaces: a home, a workplace, a family, a friendship…

Or lover, or family member…

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Photo by Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

Are you busy right now? Got a job, hobbies, a relationship? Of course you do! We all do. We all have commitments.

Which is why it’s particularly annoying when we encounter that one person who never comes through. That flakey presence in our lives, someone who we want to know, but it’s tough to get any face time with.

How hard can it be to arrange a meeting with someone? You send a message in the first instance (or if you’re that person, you ring up), you wait, the person says yes or no, you set a time, a place…

How shame around our personal struggles creates problematic connections

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Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Have you ever been with someone who told you that you were hard work?This might involve a host of factors…

But in my case, it was my mental health.

Being prone to depression made me ‘difficult’.

I ‘did the dating thing’ for a while, which featured a list of very short and uninspiring almost-relationships. For as often as not, things ended prematurely because of my mental health — either because the person didn’t want someone who had any such issues, and/or thought the mere idea would be ‘too hard’ to deal with.

Forming secure and happy relationships is hard enough…

Christina Care

Emerging fiction author, London Writers Award 2020. Working on my debut novel, rep’d by Kate Evans @ PFD. Podcasting on Author Not Present.

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