The Freelance Journals

This is my first week of freelancing.

I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I’ve returned to Leeds after two years working at Black Box Dance Company with the intention of giving freelancing a go, but, I don’t actually know how to freelance, or how to find out how to freelance, and having spoken to other people this week at ProDance Leeds it seems that no one actually knows what they’re doing. In that respect it seems kinda nice that there’s no set way to do this. Yet, at the same time it feels like I’ve just blindly stumbled into the ether, and I’m just hoping that I can make some sense of it.

So buoyed by my new sense of freedom I’ve decided to go back to journalling, but this time it won’t be the scribbled mess I had to submit in the first year of my degree, but rather a typed mess on this blog. We’ll see…

So far I have come to a few conclusions about my first week of freelancing in Leeds. These can be sorted into conclusions about myself, and conclusions about freelancing in Leeds.

First, conclusions about myself:

  1. In order for me to feel productive with all this spare time I need to allot ‘productive hours’. So let’s say Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm as a starting point. I’ll then reevaluate whether this actually works for me after ‘an unspecified amount of time’.
  2. If I am going to be a freelance dancer then I should make some effort to actually dance everyday. Apart from Monday, when I was travelling back to Leeds, and this morning because there was no class, I went to ProDance everyday. It feels so great to be dancing in a new studio, with new energies and new teachers! I felt so good, each day after class that I even went to the gym afterwards – so let’s hope that I can keep this up.
  3. I need to find ways to be motivated when I’m not actually being paid to dance. So writing, watching and reading about dance seem like they could be good ways to achieve this.

And now conclusions about freelancing in Leeds:

  1. ProDance Leeds is going to be my lifeline to regular professional class and it would be a huge shame to lose it. There’s such a tangible difference between having four people in the class and ten people in the class, that affects not only the teacher, but the other participants as well.
  2. It feels like there’s a lot of people freelancing in Leeds, but I have no actual idea how many dancers are in Leeds. There’s no directory to look it up, no forum. It would be good to have some collective, a network that actively supports and encourages one another.
  3. Following on from this, I’d like to have a freelancers coffee morning. Or wine evening. Do we have this already going on in Leeds? If so, can I join?

I feel like I need these ‘journals’ as a way of asking and hopefully answering questions, but also as a method of unlocking the conundrum of freelancing not only in Leeds, but in general.

Support, advice, wine and chocolate are all encouraged. Cheers.

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