Working as a freelancer, in any position, can be nerve-wracking. There are no guarantees of income, paid vacations, or health care. A writer and any creative artist must also split themselves between the creative right-brain and the no-nonsense business left-brain. It certainly isn’t easy.
But after 35+ years of freelancing with only a few years of W-2s in there, I would do it all again if I were starting over.
Not only have I worked as a freelance writer, I’ve also worked out of my own home and have often played around with work hours depending on demand. Some misconceptions that have caused me occasional frustration is when others don’t seem to comprehend that I am indeed working. While I have the freedom of beginning my work day in jammies and with my feet up (I admit, most days), I also have the responsibility of meeting commitments that I’ve made. Basically if I fail to meet my deadline(s) for any one or more of my clients, the chances of my getting future assignments are very low.
As a freelancer I don’t really work for myself, I work for every client I have. I negotiate my deals, accept assignments and promise to get the job done, and sometimes put up with temperamental subjects without losing my cool or grumbling to others (too much). The hardest part of working for myself is not having any back-up (some freelancers work in teams and might be able to avoid this), in my case if I don’t do it I let down my client. I’ll let you know here that I was an adult when I finally came down with chicken-pox (got it from my children) and I worked every day in my office anyway because there was no one else to do it.
Many people differentiate between being a freelancer and being self-employed. The general descriptions say that a freelancer does occasional pieces of work for others and works as a solitary unit; while self-employed means you run your company, serve customers and often hire others to work for you. Sometimes the terms can be interchangeable.
In the long run there is a huge pride in being able to say “this is totally mine” and to know that I am following my calling. Writing is the equivalent to breathing for me and I love knowing that, even though I am working, “I am not working a day of my life.” I enjoy knowing that people read the words I write, and yes, I do enjoy working in my jammies!