I have no idea why spinning plates on top of sticks ever became a thing, never mind how it became the top metaphor for dealing with lots of work at once. Regardless, it’s how I feel as a freelancer – someone constantly spinning plates.
There are those dull but expensive plates of freelance work, the ones that will pay the bills.
There are the exciting looking ones, the projects I want to work on, but that take way more time than they should to keep them in the air.
There are the dull administrative plates of emails, invoices, and other admin.
The scary, razor-edged plates of bidding on work, where you know your ego is going to get cut.
The distracting plates of social media – useful for keeping the rest spinning, but not if you spend too much time with them.
And the crazy thing is, sometimes it’s a lack of plates that makes things stressful. The moment you get to pause for a moment, feel guilt that you’re not spinning a plate, and then worry about the absence of a particular sort of crockery.
Do plate spinners get tense when a quiet moment comes, or is that where the analogy breaks down? I don’t know, maybe I should try spinning real plates and see how it feels. After all, there’s always time for one more activity, right?