The Freelance Life
By HeatherB on July 02, 2008
BlogHer Original Post
I was recently asked by someone relatively new to my blog who I work for since she thought I had some sort of writing/editing job somewhere. Which is comparable to the number of times I have been asked whether or not I freelance write for a living. My response is always the same; full body laughter.
Freelancing as a full time job has never been something I've remotely thought of. While I sometimes fantasize of a life of sitting around in my pajamas while my laptop burns a hole through my thighs, I would never go so far as to say sign me up, with enthusiasm. It's a discussion I have had repeatedly over the years which is why I now bring it to this forum. My argument has been and remains that I love, love, love my job. Yes, I deal with wholly difficult people but who doesn't? Then again if I was a full time freelancer, I would get to work all alone. Which is ideal for a misanthrope like myself.
Then there is the safety net of knowing that no matter what I will be getting a paycheck next Friday. I will have money for retirement and Blue Cross will come to my aid when I'm having a panic attack because of said job. Then there's knowing that if I need a sick day or vacation then I get the day off and chances are no one will bother me. There isn't that pressure, as Paula pointed out a few weeks ago, to try to get it all done because every single thing is up to me.
I've found myself among a bevy of really talented writers who have made the leap from corporate America or a desk job either by choice or because they just had it in them, either way, they've jumped and have gone to have the difficulties that such a major career choice brings. And during regular conversations I wonder how in the world they do it. This is often after I've complained or needed consoling while trying to meet various writing deadlines and working 50+ hours a week. That said, I wouldn't change this arrangement for anything in the world because I love what I do and I love that I get to write when I feel like writing. But there isn't the pressure there to continue search and seek out writing opportunities as if my livelihood depended on it.
There are of course two sides to every coin and grass is greener syndrome. But what I wonder now and what I've always wondered since making the acquaintance of various writers is how exactly people cope? What makes you decide to go on the road less traveled? One that doesn't necessarily have security (but does any job?) yet makes you sublimely happy?
Kristin Luna recently converted to the full time freelance life in San Francisco as a successful travel writer. Moose of Moose in the Kitchen has been a freelance writer and then cubicle drone/freelance writer and now back to freelance 24/7. And Sarah Brown quit her job last year to become a fulltime writer.
Heather Barmore really wishes she had the talent to freelance full time instead she puts all of her creative energy towards No Pasa Nada.
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