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There is plenty to love about freelancing. If it weren’t for my freelance writing business, as an Australian I would not be able to stay in the Philippines and take care of Jerry — the small boy I met wandering the streets in 2015. This short blog is my gratitude journal come alive and directed at everything that’s cool, exciting, and financially rewarding about being a freelance writer.
You’ve probably worked out from the opening paragraph, that being able to work from just about anywhere is one of the biggest things to celebrate as a freelance writer. I just love being able to work in a completely personalised space that is setup almost like an art studio.
But you don’t have to work from a private room filled with art books and musical instruments, it could be a funky cafe at the back of the lane, or a slick co-working space that includes buckets of coffee and weird chairs. All you need is your project brief, your laptop, and some space for your elbows.
PS: And let’s not forget — you never, ever have to pilot another 3 hour commute in grimy traffic. Unless you want to.
Working with a variety of clients across a range of industries is exciting. It expands your mind and creative potential, and with each writing project you learn more about the world of business, the world of nature, and sometimes the world of donuts.
Just in the past year my writing brain has been introduced to the finer points of storing corrosive chemicals and toxic gases, just why American donuts are the yummiest on the planet, and how to tell if there is palm oil in the products you have in your shopping trolley. Even better, I’ve had the opportunity to work with innovative and ethical people who are bringing real change to the world, just by the way they do business.
For most freelancers this is the clincher — being able to stop writing and pick up the kids from school, or cover for your partner as they work back-to-back shifts. Freelancing truly does equal flexibility and freedom when you know you can set your own schedule.
You can write around your favourite Zumba class, or schedule in a Netflix binge. Forget Sundays? Work 24 hours on Tuesdays? Whatever you decide, you’re working into the natural rhythm of your own life.
Despite the Strunk and White 1935 Style Guide calling the word ‘meaningful’ a bankrupt adjective, I can’t think of a better way to describe what it means to me to have writing assignments that change the way people think, act — and shop.
As a freelancer you can choose writing that helps community organisations raise much needed funds, or projects that bring awareness to issues of social justice. Ultimately you can choose any writing assignment that speaks to your heart. And for me, writing for a family-owned home pizza business, is just as meaningful as a creating an international awareness campaign to end deforestation and illegal orangutan poaching.
Writing is a creative pursuit and with every assignment you complete you’ll delve deeper and deeper into your creative consciousness. There’s something magical about the finalisation of the first draft — and in the reading it aloud as you scratch out those typos. Sometimes I’m astonished at the words in front of me, it’s like they leaped off the keys without my noticing. It’s a spiritual pursuit that can connect you with your highest good.
Can you make money as a freelance writer? Of course. Your income potential is limitless and (like all businesses) determined by your money mindset and how willing you are to apply yourself. As the owner of a writing business you set your own rates, pursue clients that appeal, then work as much or as little as you want to. Sleep all day — work all night. Write all day — write all night. The choice really is yours.
But no matter how much you write, where you write (and when), the subjects you choose, the good people you work with — the most important point of a great freelancing life is to have fun. As a freelancer you have every possible reason (and opportunity) to have the most fun life imaginable. Don’t let it slip by.
© 2019 Melinda J. Irvine
I enjoyed freelancing, my USP being having a degree in physics I could talk to any scientist and translate their jargon into something understood and interesting to a layman or someone out of their speciality. However, i wrote on anything which paid 🙂 .
I do now write either a short (short short) story (sometimes for children) or a poem about every couple of weeks. I’ve just added chapter 3 to my novella/novel and have chapter 4 in my head, which will make 16 chapters so far. Whether I ever finish it depends whether the characters tell me they’ve said enough.
Something you did not mention was you can also run a freelance writing business alongside a full- time job, as I did my first many years ago. This can be a way to get into it until your freelance commisions become enough to allow you to give up the job (I eventually made a good living as a freelance for 20 years). As you say, it can be from anywhere; in my case from a window table in an Italian restaurant in London’s Soho, right opposite Ronnie Scott’s jazz club. Now long retired I write only for pleasure – no deadlines!