Episode 7: Deepa Lakshmin

Hey, everyone!

As we near the end of 2020, I hope you’ve been able to take some time off to rest and recover. A few weeks ago, I posted on Twitter about how our mental bandwidth can directly affect how much money we make as freelance business owners. When we’re exhausted or burned out, we can’t work efficiently. Phoning it in for a day could mean making less -- and that reality has felt really frustrating for me during this pandemic. Many days, getting up in the morning and preparing for another day of high-adrenaline work has been impossible for me.

My solutions to combat this have varied: I took the last half of this month off, and I pushed some deadlines into January. I turned down projects I wasn’t excited about because boring work just like it would get done, and I’ve been doubling down on my steady work with anchor clients. I’ve also been making shorter to do lists -- one creative thing and one analytical thing each day, and that’s it. When I’m done with those tasks, my day is complete.

Meeting (virtually) with other freelancers has also really helped me. During our end-of-year workshop, 24 of our Patreon members hung out with me online and shared exactly what they were dealing with -- wins, losses, goals. It was inspiring, and reminded me that sometimes the best medicine for exhaustion and burnout is community.

On that community-love note, I think you’ll really enjoy this week’s interview, which you can listen to wherever you podcast (Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes, etc). 

I chatted with Deepa Lakshmin, a storyteller with a really interesting career path. Deepa works full-time leading content marketing for the Tribeca Film Festival, and she also runs a freelance business on the side. She’s reported for National Geographic, MTV News, and NYLON; and she’s managed social media for The Daily Beast, New York Post, and Atlas Obscura. She’s even done some copywriting for brands like OkCupid, Citi, and AT&T. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram, and we encourage you to check out her website, too: https://deepalakshmin.com/ 

Deepa and I discussed balancing full-time work with freelance gigs, the privilege of being in a phase of life where you can prioritize work and just that, and how to plan your career strategically as a freelancer. Deepa also talks about her social media and audience engagement work, and shares how she finds those gigs.

Deepa also put together two resources for our members, including skill building bingo and a worksheet that walks you through crafting your own career narrative. If you’re not yet a member, there’s always time to join!

We never could have imagined that 2020 would look so crazy, but we’re grateful that you stuck with us! If you have a moment, we’d love to have you leave a review for The Writers’ Co-op, or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. That’ll help other people find us in the new year!

Sending you safe and healthy vibes for this holiday week,