Freelancers can do a lot of waiting in general and for a given project in particular: while they’re being considered and/or bidding, for content to arrive, getting answers to questions, for revisions and final approval.
I allocate time (leaving wiggle room in case it takes longer than I thought or other opportunities crop up) for expected assignments. While of course I don’t want to pass up more work, I’m reluctant to overbook. I sometimes get a bit unsettled when I look at my calendar and see a lot of pencil instead of ink (yes, I still use a Day-Timer. It takes too long IMO to use a calendar on a phone.). I do my best to take updates and changes in stride, but at times too much fluctuation can be frustrating.
The script for a voiceover job was supposed to be ready mid-August. I penciled in two days. The date kept getting pushed back. I was offered another short project, so I accepted that. Then I learned the second project was 10 times longer than originally stated, and, though also delayed, was expected to arrive around the same time as the first. I said I couldn’t do it. The first project was now scheduled to arrive on Friday the 26th…could I do it over the weekend? I want to accommodate clients when possible, and said I could…so I didn’t make many other plans. But the script actually arrived Sunday night at 9:30PM. Monday was already booked from 9AM-8PM. I recorded late Sunday and early Monday. Then I was informed that there were problems with the script, and to wait for an updated one. Of course by then, I had other items on my agenda and had to fit in the re-recording.
While I don’t, of course, literally stare at the phone or my inbox until I get information I need, it can be a challenge not to expend time and mental energy thinking about when I might hear or what the response will be… from auditions to book submissions to jobs in progress. I like to plan. Knowing when I’ll need to do something or be somewhere makes it easier to schedule other activities and not stress about having too much on my plate.
Waiting can also involve looking forward to something. Two weeks ago, I was told I booked an ongoing job involving on camera, voiceover and print…a triple threat. But I still don’t know what I’ll be doing, when, or how long or how many days “ongoing” means. I’m eager to find out and get started.
I can’t usually control when people will get back to me or when information I need or want will arrive. Solutions to letting waiting impact my day aremoving on, keeping busy and focusing on things I can control. Fortunately, I always have more projects to work on. What’s next on my to do list?