When I began freelancing nearly nine years ago, I loved the freedom, but I had never felt so alone. Sure, I got feedback from clients on specific projects, but suddenly I lacked the sense of my professional self that my day-to-day encounters in the office used to provide. I found my emotions boomeranging from elation to despair depending on the last comment I’d heard from a client.

I had a good friend in the same industry who’d taken the plunge to go solo a few years before I did. Quickly, we found ourselves on the phone a couple of times a week, kvetching or celebrating about our most recent experiences. Knowing that somebody as smart as Sarah faced criticisms and revisions of her work, the same way I did, helped straighten out my head. Jokingly, we called our little association Freelancers Anonymous. Which turned out to be pretty close to the truth.