Working as a Freelancer

I’ve made it clear that I love the freelancing lifestyle, but there are aspects of being a freelance writer that are downright scary.  In a word: work.  When I used to daydream about following this career path, I thought about how great it would be to work from home.  I thought about how cool it would be to learn about all different sorts of topics for my clients.  I even fantasized about getting rich doing something I love to do.

Working from Home

Most of those fantasies turned out to be a bit far-fetched.  Don’t get me wrong, working from home certainly has its advantages.  I was available to comfort the baby if she got fussy, for example.  On the other hand, my dreams of merrily typing away at the computer as she lounged in the bassinet were dashed when I discovered that my darling daughter wanted to be held ALL THE TIME.

So, in order to be able to get anything done, I started paying someone to come to my house and entertain her while I scrambled to write SEO articles about burglar alarms and web content for interior decorators and any other number of completely random topics required of me for the day.  There have been times when I’ve been more than a little bitter about shelling out cash so that someone else could watch TV and hold the baby as she napped.  But, it was the only way to WORK.

Acquiring Knowledge

As for learning about new subjects, that has been interesting.  I can tell you more than the average lay person about how to make your own tattoo needles or the benefits of eating alkaline foods.  It’s been fascinating to learn about near-death experiences and cancer treatments.  I’m well-versed on the art of beekeeping and have a decent understanding of the history of urban fashion.

Sometimes, though, I worry that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.  At the moment, I’m ghost writing a book on a very technical subject.  It’s a how-to for folks who want to get involved in a certain profession.  This is a profession that I’ve not only never engaged in, but one that I would never, ever want to try.  Learning what I need to know to write this book is WORK.

Getting Rich

Like most freelancers I know, there’s the constant worry over how much to charge.  If I don’t ask enough, then how am I going to pay the Mother’s Helper?  If I ask too much, then how am I going to pay the Mother’s Helper?  Finding the balance here is WORK.  Kind of funny, when you think about it, how much work goes into finding work.

No, I’m not getting rich at what I’m doing.  I’m making enough to pay for my childcare and to put extra payments toward my student loans.  I’m even thinking of starting a retirement plan.  I suppose that’s not too bad for someone who only has about 15 hours a week to devote to her job.  I have come to the realization that I could probably make a lot of money, if not actually make it to the level of “rich,” but, doggone it, that would take an awful lot of WORK.

Doing What I Love

Ah, yes.  Here’s where it all becomes clear.  This whole freelancing gig may be harder than it looked on the surface, but the fact of the matter is that I am making a reasonable amount of money doing something that I enjoy and that I know I’m good at.  Not everyone can say that.  Sure, it’s intimidating, and writing a technical how-to book on a subject I know nothing about is scary; but it sure beats the heck out of standing on an assembly line or flipping burgers.

With that said, I’d better stop blogging and get back to the book.  Oh, and how cool is it that writing this post gets chalked up as WORK?


  1. “I’m making enough to pay for my childcare and to put extra payments toward my student loans. I’m even thinking of starting a retirement plan. I suppose that’s not too bad for someone who only has about 15 hours a week to devote to her job.”

    Probably one of the best summaries of the average freelancer I’ve ever seen. Part-timers (like myself) worry so much about how much we’re making, should we be making more, should we do more hours… it’s great to see a balanced approach. We could both probably earn a really nice salary by working full-time, but would it be worth it? In my case, the Extra Stress Monster says “No”!

    Great post!

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