This winter I got back into Twitter. I started interacting with some amazing teachers based in Europe and shared more of my blog posts via Twitter. Even though I only have a small number of followers, some of them have large followings so when they liked or shared my posts my blog would get a good number of readers. The numbers were similar to similar posts on Facebook and much higher than from LinkedIn.
I also channeled my boredom and frustration into writing a couple of articles and sending them to various teaching magazines. My article on freelancing was published recently in EFL Magazine. You can read it here. Another article on Business English projects will come out in English Teaching Professional in May. Be sure to keep an eye out for it.
A third thing I did was to contact a publisher in Korea and ask to be added to their database of freelance editors. They replied and said there was a project coming up for adult learners that I would be a good match for. Fingers crossed that it works out and turns into both editing and presenting opportunities.
Finally, I used some of the down time to work on two new presentations. One was on teaching tips for new teachers and education majors and the other was on presentation tips for teachers. I debuted them on my trip through Turkey, Hungary, and Serbia and the reactions were very positive. I even got some suggestions for ways to improve them so they will be even stronger when I give them again.
I wouldn't wish down periods on any freelancer, but if they do come, be sure to plant some seeds. You may not get instant gratification but you will see results in time. If the down periods come at the same time every year, you will need to start packing some savings away during the busy times or be prepared to take some jobs that you normally wouldn't take so you can make ends meet. You might also want to try to plant some seeds earlier in the year so that they start to bear fruit around the time things start to slow down.