THOUGHTS ON BEING A FREELANCER


 

When people find out I’m a freelance writer I typically get a combination of three types of responses:

  1. I’m so jealous; I wish I could work from home. This response is occasionally given by someone who use to work from home themselves and is feeling nostalgic, but more often is given by someone who doesn’t have the most realistic concept of what working from home actually looks like.
  2. Ohmygod your job is my worse nightmare. This response tends to come from the type of people who view working from home/freelance as stressful and unstable (or people who just hate to write). It’s been my experience that these types of people tend to gravitate towards career paths that would never lend themselves to freelance anyway. (I love these people. Not only do they have a skill set that is totally opposite than mine–and we definitely need people like that in the world–but it means there is one less human out there trying to do the same thing as me.)
  3. That’s not a real job. This response is hardly ever said in so many words but tends to be a general attitude that leaks out through backhanded comments (you know the type). There is a perception among some that I don’t actually work. Freelance writing isn’t always viewed as stable enough to bring in real money. While this could be true for some freelancers and freelance writing definitely isn’t constantly stable in the same way as a job with a paycheck that is the same amount of money arriving at the same time every month, I have managed to support myself through writing for pretty much my entire adult life, with more than half that time being freelance (verses working on staff.)

I love working as a writer and many of the things I have done throughout my career. It’s been an unconventional, wild ride and though it has come with many ups and downs, I still feel really good about my decision to be a freelance writer. Now I need to add a little disclosure real quick: As I was writing this post all about bring a freelancer, I accepted a full-time staff writing position with a digital ad agency. Taking this job is in no way a reflection on my views towards freelancing (I love freelancing), but it is an opportunity to do some work I’m really excited about. (We’ll see how well I make the lifestyle transition from freelancer to staffer). I will still be updating my blog on a (mostly) weekly bases. That’s my promise to you!

Okay, back to my planned blog. During my time as a freelancer, I have learned some valuable lessons—often through trial-and-error:

Have a thought, question, or your own personal story about working as a freelancer? Feel free to leave it in the comments section below.

 


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GRETCHEN IS A WRITER-BASED IN PORTLAND, ORE. SHE GOT HER START AS A JOURNALIST WORKING ON THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND RESTAURANT BEAT BEFORE MOVING INTO COPYWRITING. SHE CURRENTLY BLOGS, AND IS A COPYWRITER AT AN ADVERTISING AGENCY.

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