I turned away some freelance work, and I am not ashamed. It has taken me a long time to get to that point — the point of simply saying no without guilt. For a long time, I felt I should do any work that was available.
There are times when you are too tired, or distracted, and will not do your best work. There are times when you plain don’t want to, and again, it won’t be your best stuff. I have come to realize I am actually doing the right thing, and helping the client out, by declining work when it won’t be high quality.
Here is a story I wrote at the height of the Covid Criss about needing permission to say no to work.