Breaking out on your own and becoming a freelance writer, artist, designer — or whatever you decide to be — is incredibly scary. Although, when it works out, it’s the most satisfying thing you could ever experience.
For me, sticking it to everyone who told me I could never do it and actually bringing in enough income to support myself and my family, that was the real kicker.
Those folks have to wake up at a designated time, go to work with a bunch of assholes they don’t like, and then deal with commutes. I don’t have to do any of those things.
Want to know the best part? I’m not working for someone else, I’m working for myself. I don’t have to worry about any colleagues slacking off and taking all the credit for my hard work. I don’t have to deal with incompetent supervisors ordering me around. I don’t have to deal with corporate douchebags.
If I slack off for a day, the only one that pays for it is me. At the same time, if I bust my ass and invest my time and energy into something I’m passionate about — I reap the benefits, not someone else.
To me, that’s worth it.
That’s not to say there haven’t been any hiccups along the way. Nor is it always perfect.
There’s an attitude that goes along with this field, and it’s that employers feel they have the right to work you to the bone for little pay. I’m talking, they pay you $0.03 a word — sometimes less — and expect you to go above and beyond as if they were paying you a ridiculous salary.
You have to know when to cut and run, and you have to know when to stick it out.
Another big problem with freelance work is that often you’re not paid until after you’ve put in the hours. That may be true of a real job, but you’re clocking in and out so it feels different. With freelance work, you can bust your ass every day for a month — if that’s your payment schedule — and there’s a chance you’ll find out at the end of it all your employer is a scamming fuckwad who never intended to pay you shit.
I’ve had a few instances where I was taken for a loop.
There were times I was promised one form of pay, only to be informed later my position was performance based — that is, I’d get paid based on incoming traffic stats on a site that had very little traffic to begin with.
Other times, I’ve had people extend a job offer and ask for a free sample, only to turn around and run with it, offering no compensation for my time invested. Yes, I’ve seen MY articles crop up under someone else’s name, on a relatively unknown site, knowing full well that I never got paid for it. It sucks.
Another job I had — I won’t say which — I had to sacrifice hundreds of hours of time invested “for the good of the company” so I could be paid at least some of what I was owed.
I could keep going, but I won’t. It sounds like a nightmare job, but it’s really not. I love what I do.
I don’t always like the people I work for, but it doesn’t matter because I enjoy writing; it’s my forte.
I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am and I’ve invested a lot of time. It pays off in the end, one way or another. There’s no better feeling than having someone reach out to you, with a legitimate job offer because they enjoy your writing.
I guess what I’m trying to say in some strange way, is that I’m a successful freelance writer and I’m damn proud of it.
I’ll be using this portal to write about a great many things, including my experiences as a freelancer. Hopefully, it will help someone — anyone — that’s considering a career in freelance writing.