I love a little bit of narcissism on a Tuesday evening. I did last week anyway. I’ve been meaning to actually write real words on this blog/portfolio/domain registered in my pseudonym. So on Tuesday I did and, for some odd reason, people actually bothered to read it. It was so nice to have people be nice about stuff that I’ve decided to finally get my ass in gear and post on here regularly. I must stress again that I’m by no means a freelance pro, I don’t know much and I bet there are some veteran freelancers reading my rubbish shaking their heads going, tut, tut while throwing their hands up int he air for dramatic effect. Don’t matter – I’m just sharing my experiences, if it somehow helps someone along the way, then great. If it doesn’t, then at least I gave my noodle a bit of a work out to write something self indulgent because self indulgence is good…once a week.
You can work from anywhere
I touched on this in the previous post. This was, quite possibly, the deciding factor in my decision to “take the leap”. Having never done the “gap year in London” thing and never having traveled much for a variety of reasons, I was getting a bit itchy and I needed to move. Lots. Generally, as a freelance writer, you can work from anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection. And, thanks to the advances in technology, as long as you have a mobile phone within range of reception, you can make an internet connection anywhere. If you’re dying to travel and see a bit more of the world – and you’re not lucky enough to be employed by somebody who pays your travel bills – freelancing is great. It can also be a tax deductible, but that’s a post for another day.
More time, well, kind of
This is a tricky one and when I write about five reasons why you absolutely shouldn’t go freelance next week, I’ll get into more detail, but as a freelancer you do generally have more time. More you time. Unless I am covering a match, I don’t have to get up at a certain time, I don’t have to go to bed at a certain time. I can get up super early and walk my dogs when the sun is coming up and go to the grocery store in middle of the morning when only soccer mom’s and wayward students are strolling the aisles. It’s bliss. Not having to stand in a line, not having to knock little screaming kids over with the trolley….I’ve got time to soak in the bath in the morning and not get out of it unless somebody is ringing my doorbell to fix my leaking roof. I can go to the post office, the bank and call the tax helpline all during the day when nobody else is clogging up the feeds.
More money, if you hustle
Sometimes times are tough freelancing, especially if you don’t have a regular client. However, having more time and more freedom gives you the opportunity to make more money. If you can land a couple of overseas clients, things can be quite good. I’ve got a US client who pays my credit card every month with the work he gives me (he doesn’t know, don’t worry). Even a small amount of work from somebody from the US or the UK is quite significant in SA currency. Economic climate is shaky, but there is work out there and there is good money to be made, if you put your mind to it.
You’ll learn more than you can in six years in an office job and four years at uni
The more I practice, the luckier I get.
In the last six months I’ve learned more about work and about myself that I would ever have working in any kind of office job. And maybe, just maybe a bit more than what I would have manning a news desk or being handed a beat. It’s amazing what you pick up when “you’re out there” and around pros of the trade. You don’t even need to speak to them, just watch them, listen to them and learn. There is no substitute for experience, hands on, diving in the deep end and paddling like fuck kind of experience.
If you’re a control freak like me, freelancing is great because you are in complete control of everything. Your working hours, how much money you make, whether you work from the bath or whether you completely slack off and you have to nail down a deadline in a few hours because you’ve been putting it off to clean your windows instead. You’re building your own empire, your own dreams. Not somebody else’s.