Dealing with freelance work and indie making

Today I wanted to talk to you about something I live with on a daily basis: making a living by freelancing while doing indie maker projects on the side.

I know I'm not alone: many of you will agree that this is a good way to start indie making. The idea is to earn a living by working for clients while freeing up as much time as possible to work on your personal projects.

But that's easier said than done! 😬

After a year of mixing freelance and indie making, here are my conclusions.

How to manage your time?

All the difficulty is here.

I see three different ways of organizing your freelance work and your projects:

  • do both in the same day
  • separate your days
  • do only freelance and then only personal projects.

I'll only talk about the first two situations, not having tried the last one.

At the beginning of my journey, I organized myself like when I was in a company: 8 hours per days, and personal projects in the evening and on weekends. I know some manage it very well, but that wasn't my case: I was to tired to work at night, and I like to have my weekends to go out with my friends! On top of that, it leaves only very short work periods: I'm more efficient when I can work several hours in a row ame project.

How to explain your organization to your clients?

It's not always easy to explain to clients that our projects are as important as what we do for them. Not everyone can hear it!

If you find an understanding client who accepts the situation, congratulations, it's a great opportunity. If not, just say you're only available during certain times, without mentioning your projects. The most complicated part is the meetings. If you work part-time for your client, other employees probably don't. So it's quite possible that meetings will be scheduled on days when you're not supposed to work. Discuss this with your client, and try to find some common ground. I don't think it's a good idea to interrupt your indie making days with meetings. 🤗

Some advices

Here are some tips I wish I had heard before I started:

  • Turn off your notifications when you work. Really.
  • Only work when you're mentally fit, and don't feel obligated to do an 8-5.
  • If you work from home, try to have a dedicated room, if possible.
  • Try several ways to organize your time until you find the right one.
  • When you work on your projects, use a to-do! NEVER start a project without knowing what you are going to do.


I hope this short article has been useful to you. In the same spirit, I'll soon write another post on how I organize my projects (hint: I use a notebook and Notion!)

A bientôt 👋

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