I love writing. I have always loved putting pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) and getting all my thoughts down. It has been a source of stress relief and another method for me to decompress in a world of chaos. I have often thought about what it would be like to write full time and become a full time freelancer like so many out there in the PF world. The idea of making your own schedule is really appealing especially when it comes to having time to spend with my family. There are so many good reasons to be a free-lancer but I still find more reasons for me not to jump completely into the field.
I have seen a lot of bloggers take the plunge lately. I have seen a lot of bloggers also complain about it for a variety of reasons. Michelle from Fit is the New Poor has a great article on how she is surviving her turn at being a full time free-lancer. In it, she describes the pain she feels when a boss asks for revisions or feeling a sense of panic in her writing career. I can completely empathize. When I have written for people or companies before, I def. would get anxious when they came back with comments of this needing to be changed or that. I would instantly feel like I was going to lose the job or there was something horrible in my writing especially in the beginning. As more time passed, I was able to control such feelings, but it is not fun. It is normal to expect criticism in any job, but it seems worse in freelancing somehow because you are getting it through email without knowing the true intentions of the supervisor.
I am a person who values stability. If you are freelancing, you have to be comfortable with going through periods of high to low amounts of work. You have to be comfortable with maybe not even making anything for a while until you get more work in. Unfortunately, the bills don’t wait. I have to say this is one of the more unappealing things about full-time freelancing. I feel like I have the best of both worlds now as I am able to work full time at a stable position and write on the side. My livelihood is by no way dependent on how much paid wiring work I get and that comforting to me.
One of the great things about being a writer is the flexibility. You can control your own schedule and thats great. One of the big drawbacks is usually not having any work benefits like paid time off or health insurance. If you have a family, it helps to have a partner that can provide the benefits or that is what I have seen from a lot of writers. You can certainly do without it, but I have to say it is certainly something to think about if you are considering this career path.
Speaking of unpredictability, I cannot tell you how many times I have accepted a job and then have it cancelled the next day for reasons beyond my control. It comes with the territory. You have to be able to accept that things can suddenly change and you will be left without a job for whatever reason. Another thing that has happened to me is having jobs that will drastically reduce in hours for budget shortfalls or whatever. It happens, but it is not that forgiving on my bank account.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from getting their job of their dreams. I just wanted to share some of my experiences. Free-lancing can be a really great thing for anyone as long as they accept the risks and move forward. Every job has risks, but this job has more than I can take for a full time career. I have read a few bloggers lately say that they are leaving the full time-freelancing world and looking for a “conventional” job. I just know that I like my current working situation and enjoy it immensely. I may change my mind in the future but for now, this feels good.