Logging the Second Year of Independent Work
What went up, what went down in year two?
As my second year of independent work passed, I noticed two things about my working style. First, I found that I make my best work when I do not have more than three projects (clients or deadlines) to work on at the same time. There were times last year where I took on too much and had to pull back. I appreciate my clients (you know who you are) for being flexible. Second, I personally get invested when the project requires exploring “unorthodox interfaces”. Curaturae is a prime example of an unorthodox interface. In the project, I juxtapose and subvert existing interfaces (chiefly a text editor and a collage board) to be used in an unintentional way: connect your writing to images. So, I would like to look at this year’s numbers from the perspective of these two trends.
From the monthly revenue portion (graphic above on the left), there are two months that stand out: October and February. I did not earn money through client services, because the months prior, September and January respectively, I cut back and reorganized how I worked. In September, I had just completed Curaturae. In January, I finished a project with Stockholm based startup Chroma. In both cases, the completion of a project was a good opportunity to take stock and recalibrate with all my clients. While the lack of income might look bad on the above chart, they were important moments for me to recharge. In this way, the numbers do not depict the whole story. In a similar vein, I earned the most revenue in June and July. However, that was an incredibly stressful and busy summer. I took on two short term, high-paying, but demanding projects. In total, I was working with five clients.
Assessing my year has given me new perspective on how I work and how I can be my best for a project or client. Moving forward, I have put my earnings from each year into one spreadsheet. Just click on the button above. As each year passes, I aim to add to this spreadsheet. For the sake of a transparent practice, I think it is important to share numbers. However, something I need to remind myself is: numbers do not tell the whole story,