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Mar 19, 2019 21:36:30

🚦Transitioning from a freelancer to indie maker

by @jasonleow | 488 words | 223🔥 | 261💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 223🔥
Total posts: 261💌
Total words: 104970 (419 pages 📄)

Start.

Slow.

Stop.


Start.

Slow.

Stop.


Rinse & repeat.


That's how I'd been living so far for the past 5 years. I live my career in seasonal projects, as a freelance consultant for government organisations. And my year had always been about going through peaks and valleys, fluctuating between of intense, exhausting busyness, and then restless downtime and uncertainty before the next project comes along. It's quite unlike the usual 9-to-5, where the intensity graph is perhaps more stable, certain and flatline-ish. Think of it as sprinting for a few months, then slowing down to a stroll before sprinting again, compared to a comfortable jog through the year.


Is one better than the other? It depends. But being younger when I started, I relished the autonomy and freedom that came with being freelance, and had the energy to manage the fast pace. But it's a lifestyle and job that takes a lot out of you, in mind, body and soul. Dealing with uncertainty of income, pushing yourself hard because you earn as hard as you work, and working mostly alone are just some of the challenges. 


These days however, I feel tired. Exhausted. Even back in school when I was a track athlete, I was a long distance runner, never a sprinter. I wonder if my 'sprinting' pace of life is actually something that my body/mind is built for. Yet I can't quite imagine myself going back to fulltime employment, working for somebody, dealing with office politics and bureaucratic hubris. 


Is there something in between, I wonder? 


I guess that's why early this year, I set out to transition to a fulltime indie maker sometime in the immediate future. I'm feeling impatient to transition fully into one right now, but like all good things, setting myself up for success takes time. I try to remind myself that. I'd been ploughing away at learning programming consistently since the beginning of the year, so that I can make my own products and make a living off it. Since making 1 minimum viable product a month the whole of last year, I know an indie maker living is possible. I just need to up my game so that I can create the products I envision to create (that's not quite possible to do based on no-code tools). 


In the meantime, I find myself at this transition zone where I'm neither out of my previous gig as a freelance consultant, nor fully immersed as an indie maker. Sometimes I wish to throw caution into the wind and just drop all my current and coming gigs to devote everything to indie making. The time I'm spending in my current work could well make all the difference if better invested in my new one. But that route will certainly be waaay more stressful. A wiser voice asks me to be patient this year and with consistent efforts, the tide will turn soon. 


I hope so.

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