That’s it. I had a good run, but it’s over now. In my first few years as a freelance illustrator, these words crept into my head from time to time. For months, exciting emails would flood into my inbox: client inquiries, interview requests, collaboration requests. I could barely keep up with responding and creating proposals.
But suddenly … silence. The only emails I was still receiving were the faithful spam from some guy named Manuel Franko, who was desperate to give me tens of millions of dollars if only I would click on his link.
Seemingly from one day to the next, the requests stopped. The first two weeks I still enjoyed because the last months had been full of overtime. By the third, I was getting nervous. Still nothing … it seemed like someone had turned off the switch.
Then finally, the redemption. A new request. Then another one. Soon I was busy again, and my worries vanished.
Over the years, I could recognize a rhythm. The months in which I received fewer inquiries had always been the summer months, the vacation season. So it was no wonder the curve went down here before it shot up again in late August.
With that in mind, not only could I calm down when inquiries were low. I could plan with it for vacations, personal projects, website updates, and more.
Because of our inexperience, such fluctuations can cause existential anxiety. Over time, we recognize patterns, incorporate them into our lives, and use them best. The important thing is just to be on the lookout for them.