Felicia, this is exactly right! So much of this rings true with what I try to do myself and what I advise other freelancers. I love your points about not working on gig sites (I’ve said the same things, repeatedly), defining who your ideal clients and projects are (you can’t land a dream client until you know who it is!), and to network effectively even as an introvert (I suffer from that too!).
The ups and downs of freelancing can be mitigated to avoid those slow patches, but you are right that even the best of us sometimes find no work on the horizon. It’s important not to panic, and to stick to your principles, even when you cannot afford to be too picky about what work you take on.