In 1987,  Gloria M. Estefan told the world that “at night, when you turn off all the lights, there’s no place that you can hide, the rhythm is gonna get’cha.” 

“In bed, throw the covers on your head, you pretend like you are dead, but I know it, the rhythm is gonna get’cha.”

I won’t lie, these lyrics hit home with me—particularly coming out of the pandemic as a freelancer. So much of my life and routine have been ‘flipped-turned upside down’ (thank you Fresh Prince), and I lie wide awake at night trying to figure out how on earth I’m going to get “back into the swing of things” again, “find my feet,” and “get my groove back.” 

Hey, would you look at that—those are all dancing idioms too. 

Maybe Estefan has a point. Maybe all we need is the rhythm to find us freelancers too.

Look, I don’t want to be generic and patronising here…

Whether it’s coming out of this pandemic or a hiatus from work in general, I could go ahead and give you a list of all-inclusive, run-of-the-mill, heard-it-all-before advice about ways of getting back to work as a freelancer. 

I could tell you to start “putting yourself out there” again and attend networking events to meet people just like you, attend seminars and keynote speaker conferences, get involved in online forums and message boards, follow this guru on twitter, read this book, do this, do that.

Trust me—you’ve heard it all before. It’s generic, patronising advice that offers nothing. 

We’re talking about finding your rhythm again here. Ahem! Excuse me. Oh contraire. I mean the rhythm finding you.

Let me tell you how it finds me…

One word…revelation. 

Let me put you right in the picture.

I’ve completed another day of grinding—emails, follow ups, proposal writing, invoice chasing (but secretly grateful I actually have invoices to chase), diary management, a dreaded anxiety-inducing call with a client I wish I could fire but I’m in no position to do so (not yet), then onto some daydreaming about working from my laptop on a sun lounger in Bora Bora, then back to my inbox again. 

Just another day as a freelancer trying to bring the work in, trying to get back into the swing of things in this new post-pandemic world. But not just any kind of work…work that I love. Work that means something. 

Finally…the clock strikes 5. Now, I’m a freelancer, my own boss, I can call it quits at literally any time, spend all day napping as far as I’m concerned, but I’m a professional—so I feel better shutting the laptop down at close of play like everyone else. 

As I trudge across the platform to await the train on my commute home from the cafe I chose to work out of today, I can’t help but notice all the other zombie-esque humanoids lost in their headphones, smartphones, dreams and desires...

A stark reminder. We all look for ways to escape reality—fulltime or freelance. 

But then I look up. Something bright and colourful catches my eye on the other side of the track. It’s a very clever ad for a new app, a new piece of software, a new innovation that changes our lives. The copy is so simple and brilliant, the design slick and minimal, and the general tone perfect. It’s humorous, self-deprecating, and obscenely tasteful.

It’s the dream job….staring right back at me and revealing itself.

Now I’m dancing!

Not only am I dancing….but I’ve cleared the entire dancefloor. 

All the other commuters on the train become non-existent as I sit glued to my phone. As far as I’m concerned, I’m all alone.

I look up this app online, and check out the company behind it. I want to know who they are, where they come from, the market they are competing with—if they even have competitors at all or are true pioneers. 

I start thinking about the rest of my week, re-prioritising my to-do list, figuring out which one of my peers could offer amazing advice on how to get in touch with this company, or others just like them. 

I WANT a client like this!

The excitement is through the roof as I start thinking about all the possibilities that could happen if I dive head first into the deep end and introduce my copywriting services to these people. Who knows what could happen by thinking outside the box like this?

All of a sudden I can’t wait for 9am tomorrow morning. My groove is back. 

The rhythm has got me.

You need to figure out what excites you too

This is the only tangible advice I can really give here, folks. You need to figure out those little things in life, as they say, that get your juices flowing. 

I don’t know what that is for you. We’re all different. I’m me, and you are you. But everyone has something that inspires them and makes them look back up at the stars. Their muse, if you will.

Hey, even if it's catching up with a friend over a coffee and taking a load off. But, the last time you had coffee with this particular friend, they said something that opened your eyes and got you dancing. My advice—call them now and set up another coffee and catch up.  

This friend might be the rhythm that gets you.

Photo credits: 

Feature image: cottonbro
1st image: RODNAE Productions
2nd image: Andrea Piacquadio
3rd image: Ketut Subiyanto