Burnout!

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, September 05, 2007 At 9:26 AM

In my posts about my working Labor Day and my unsuccessful attempts at a vacation, I mentioned my Big Project. I think I mentioned this a little while back, but I had a big project that I accepted over the summer. I had done the same project last year, and found it way more tedious and exhausting than the pay justified. By the time they asked me in March to do the project again this year, though, I had completely forgotten how miserable I was last summer, and I accepted.

This project has been a thorn in my side since June. The paychecks have been hefty, but still not enough when you consider the amount of work I have put into earning them. I figure if I would have focused solely on this project, it would have been a month's work of work, easily -- but the client wanted it in two weeks, initially. Ha! And even if they had been reasonable and given me a month, I can't just go and ditch the rest of my clients for an entire month!

Ultimately, the project took three months to complete (while maintaining my other clients), and that was with a lot of weekends and evenings worked. I've been looking forward to having it done for a long time now, but since I didn't finish Thursday (my self-imposed deadline, but one I shared with the client), I felt I needed to continue working over the weekend. Then, to make matters worse, the client contacted me around midday on Monday with revisions he wanted the same day.

By the time yesterday rolled around, I was so burned out that I took all day to do something that should have taken only two to three hours. As a result, I was depressed and lethargic for most of the evening. Michael suggested we celebrate, but I couldn't even bring myself to do that -- somehow, I just couldn't shake the feeling of the project looming over me. After all, that's where it's been for the past three months!

Realistically, I should have at least a few days off now that it's over, to allow myself to recover before I launch myself back into other client projects. However, it doesn't seem like that will happen, as I still have plenty of work to keep me busy -- probably for several weeks.

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Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

Oh yes, I can so relate. I've been trying not to overload myself so much these days, but it's still really hard to turn down work when it's offered. Even when you get to the point where you never really experience lulls, I think as a freelancer, it's always in the back of your mind what it was like when the projects were non-existent. I wonder if you EVER get past those haunting feelings?

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Thanks for the comment, Kathy. I know exactly what you mean! There is always that fear of being caught without a reliable income!

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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