No one knows for sure exactly how many freelance writers there are. That’s because new writers “open their doors” for business every day. It’s a sure bet, though, that there are thousands of us.
Even with thousands of fellow freelance writers, many of us feel isolated and alone. Why?
Working from home leaves us vulnerable to loneliness. While other family members trudge off to traditional work or school, many of us remain at home. For most of the day, it’s just us and our computers. No wonder loneliness is a problem for so many of us.
If you’re a freelance writer who is feeling lonely, know that you are not alone. Many other freelance writers have been through the same thing. In this post, I share three groups that you should connect with to help combat loneliness.
This post is part of my series on What Is the Worst Problem Freelance Writers Face?
Caution: If your feelings of loneliness persist despite everything you do, you may need professional help. Don’t be afraid to turn to a mental health professional if you need to. This post should not be construed as professional mental health advice.
Group #1: Friends and Family
You may be tempted to work extra hours to get your business off the ground. Don’t do it if it means neglecting your relationships with friends and family members.
Healthy relationships are an important part of fighting loneliness. Invest time each day in nurturing your relationships with the people who are important to you. Do it even if they don’t understand freelancing.
Family members may be confused by your freelancing. This is especially true if you’re the first freelancer in the family. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. Plus, freelancing is more accepted than it was even ten years ago. Odds are that you’re not the only freelancer they know.
Spending time with family helps fight loneliness, but you may long to spend time with professionals as well.
Group #2: Local Professionals
What I missed most about not working in a traditional job was not being able to talk about work with colleagues. While your freelancing colleagues may not share an office with you, they are still out there. You just need to make an extra effort to find them.
To find nearby colleagues you need to engage in some face-to-face networking. One of my online colleagues, John Soares, has some excellent networking suggestions in his post on the Productive Writers blog, Where Smart Freelance Writers Network In-Person. John suggests networking at Chamber of Commerce meetings, BNI meetings, Meetup, through local service organizations, Toastmasters, or at Industry-specific groups.
In the city near where I live there are even groups that have formed just for networking. You can also meet colleagues by taking a class at a local community college, attending a seminar, or going to a trade show.
Even if you can’t find colleagues nearby, you can find online freelance writing colleagues.
Group #3: Join an Online Forum
If you live in an unpopulated area with few local professional groups, you may need to look online for peers. All you need to get in touch is an Internet connection.
Over the years, I’ve been a member of several online writing groups. At first, I joined free writing forums. Participants at those tend to come and go.
The two writing group memberships that I currently maintain are About Writing Squared and the Freelance Writers Den. While I don’t take part in them as often as I’d like to, those times I have participated they’ve been helpful. (To learn more about the Freelance Writers Den, read my review.)
Of course, there are many other online writing groups. The key is to find a group that is helpful to you.
How do you fight freelance writing loneliness? Share your tips in the comments.