Going Uphill is Where the Magic Happens

Andrew Macrae
2 min readApr 15, 2020
Source: barnyz, CC license

So my bookings have fallen off a cliff since mid-March and my diary is empty for the first time in 15 years. This is both liberating and terrifying.

It’s liberating because it means I now have the freedom to start and finish some projects for myself and finally tick off some quadrant II tasks.

It’s terrifying because I no longer have the excuse of back-to-back busywork deadlines to avoid the important non-urgent tasks that will create the most value for me and my clients.

One way I’ve been coping is by getting out on my mountain bike every day.

While I was out yesterday, grinding up a steep section of road and wishing my destination was in the other direction, it occurred to me that going uphill is where the real action is.

Coasting downhill, everything is a blur as you zip through the landscape. You don’t need to worry about your form or technique. You just hold on and hope for the best.

But going uphill forces you to slow down. Every grain of sand, every stick and leaf by the side of the road is immanent. And suddenly you’re focusing your technique to make sure you’re moving the bike in the most efficient way.

I’ve been lucky enough to have coasted downhill for pretty much my entire freelance career. Clients have been referred to me by word of mouth, and the work just seemed to come to me. My biggest problem was managing overload and burnout.

But now I’ve hit an uphill stretch and it’s time to start paying attention and getting my shop in order.



Andrew Macrae

Freelance writer and editor. Sign up for my newsletter about writing, freelancing and whatever is worrying me https://tinyletter.com/Andrew_Macrae