Freelancers like being busy, because being busy pays the bills. However, sometimes the nature of freelancing means that you could be super-mega-crazy-busy for a few months, and then suddenly find yourself with no work (unless you count binge watching Netflix as work).

In Sara Horowitz’s book The Freelancers Bible, she outlines some benefits of those dry spells that are all too common in the freelancing world.

Benefit 1: Dry time pushes you to do “The ask.”

We would all love it if our inboxes were perpetually flooded with people begging to shower us with money in exchange for our talents, however, that usually doesn’t happen. Most often you have to go out looking for it, and there is no shame in that game. Use this time to reach out to past clients or introduce yourself and your portfolio to potential clients.

Benefit 2: Dry time reminds you that work can come from anywhere.

When you are doing “The ask”, remember to not limit the clients you’re asking. Often times your regular clients may not be looking for anything, but perhaps they know someone who is. Keep yourself open to any and all opportunities.

Benefit 3: Dry time reminds you to organize, strategize and get up-to-date.

While you are waiting for the torrent of work to flood in, use that opportunity to make sure your portfolio and websites are as up-to-date as possible. It can be challenging during busy stretches to tend to the more administrative tasks, however, now is the perfect time. Take this time to think about overall planning and strategy and make sure that you are in the best possible place to start accepting new projects.

Benefit 4: Prolonged dry time may point to market changes

If it has been quite a long dry spell and nothing is coming in, this may point to some changes in market demand. Use this time as an opportunity to research what’s happening in your field, and explore new ways to stay competitive in that market. Seeking out a broader range of potential clients and adding new skills to your repertoire is always a good idea as well. This period of introspection and revitalization can also be a great opportunity to take on some temp or part time work.

Freelancers, how have you used dry spells to benefit your freelance business?

Everything you need to know to have the career of your dreams--on your terms. Pick up a copy of The Freelancer’s Bible now.