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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Why I freelance — despite the late payments.

Freelancing is not the easiest way to make a living as a writer. There are times when I’m actually grateful for how naive I was at the beginning of my freelance journey, because if I had known how risky it could be, I might not have given it a go. But here I am, over a year after taking it full-time, making enough to live with my boyfriend in an affordable city and actually pay my bills. Surprise, surprise, I’ve gotten this far.


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Photo by Victoria Bilsborough on Unsplash

The morning before my 25th birthday, I finished packing up my car, took one final look around my room, put my keys in the ignition, and drove south across the state lines, headed for my new home.


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Photo by elizabeth lies on Unsplash

I didn’t want to get out of bed. Again.


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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Words of wisdom after three decades of running a small business.

When I decided to start freelancing full-time at the beginning of this year, one of my friends asked me if I would really be able to support myself without a traditional 9–5. He wasn’t being rude — he was honestly just curious, and although it’s becoming more and more common for people to start their own businesses or go freelance, it’s still not the norm.


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“woman standing holding umbrella and white megaphone during daytime” by Melany Rochester on Unsplash

The curse of being a young writer on the Internet.

Sometimes, what I wonder what my parents would have published if their career paths dictated that they should share their personal lives with the Internet in their twenties.


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“person holding white mug over MacBook Pro” by rawpixel on Unsplash

Every once in a while, I sit down to write an article that I’m totally unqualified to write.

Yes, I’m aware that from an ethical perspective, this is slightly sketchy territory. But from a financial perspective, it’s sometimes necessary. And I know I’m not the only freelance writer who has done this — I suspect that most of us have taken on assignments that we’re a bit unsure about and just hoped that the resources we pulled together made for a solid article.


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“click pen and magnifying glass on book page” by João Silas on Unsplash

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Sharing my life online is an ongoing process of examination: examining myself and giving others, strangers I’ve never met and never will meet, a front row seat to anything that I’ve felt was worth chronicling for the world to read.


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“body of water under sky” by Matt Hardy on Unsplash

Honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out.

It’s easier to see the changes here, where the houses sit just above sea level and everyone has a memory of their first floor flooding and their belongings in black garbage bags after Sandy. It’s harder to deny that something is occurring, faster than we could have anticipated, something that makes the humidity weigh heavier on our shoulders and the leaves hang on to the trees in the fall and the fall itself become a brief interim between summer and winter rather than a long, stretching season of its own.


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“silhouette of woman” by Molly Belle on Unsplash

In any community of writers (or artists in general, honestly), there’s a lot of talk about fear.

Fear of putting your work out there. Fear of getting criticized. Fear of rejection.


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“two women holding flowers” by Sam Manns on Unsplash

How many times have you written something, drawn something, filmed something, recorded something — or just jotted down an idea for a project — and then decided not to share it with the world because you figured that someone else was already doing it, and they were doing it better than you could?

About

Jane Harkness

Words on wellness, sustainability, and more. Writer for hire. Let’s work together: harknessje@gmail.com.

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