So…we meet again, home office.
I’ve come back to freelance writing and travel writing after finishing up my long-term contract in a mega corporation. I know a lot of very talented writers and bloggers who long to do the same thing. I don’t know if it’s the right choice for you, but I think it’s right for me. For now.
This blog could document my downward spiral from very gainfully employed writer to That Peddler in the Parking Lot Who Writes The Best Cardboard Signs. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
Freelance writing tips:
Very little time will be spent writing. Most of it will be spent checking email and refreshing it again and again to see if those query letters and job applications you sent out got a response. Nope. Just another email newsletter advertising Socktober Fest. All those socks. All on sale…
You need to know… math. Oh yeah, we writers think we’re all cute and funny and stuff when we can’t calculate tips or do taxes because we’re “word nerds.” But as a freelancer, you need to know some basic business calculations figure out if you’re making more or less than you would if you collected cans for a living. This is an essential skill.
That’s why writers make such miserable salaries. The Man thinks we can’t do math.
Your new exercise = pacing. The last time I worked as a freelancer I lost about 10 pounds in a matter of weeks. Friends asked why I looked so svelte. It wasn’t a change in my dietary habits—certainly, I inhaled a few less donuts. But my magical weight loss was due to my pacing around the room whenever I faced a looming deadline.
You will need to improve your social skills. I have the social graces of a T-Rex. I am clumsy, loud, and thanks to Invisilign, might spit when I talk.
Days go by where I don’t see humans. So when I meet a prospective client for lunch, I have to remind myself that she’s not my therapist and now is probably not an appropriate time to talk about last night’s dream where I wore a purple tri-cornered hat onto the bus and everyone laughed at me.
Your 9-5 friends will scare the crap out of you. Things not to say to a freelance writer:
-You may never work for “real” again.
-You’re doing what? IN THIS ECONOMY?!
-Why couldn’t you make it as a real writer?
Just avoid phrases that can be punctuated with an interabang.
Did you ever quit a job to follow your passion? Do you freelance? Ring in with tips below.
September 19, 2013 at 11:03 am
I enjoyed reading your tips. Although I haven’t done your new bliss situation, alot us long to do this. Right on that. However, sometimes I do need to remind myself that I am meeting a person and not a pyschiatrist.I’m not a freelance writer but quite frankly needs better social skills. That made me laugh. All the best in your new endeavour
September 19, 2013 at 11:20 am
Thanks Ninay! Yes, I am ready to dig in and get to work. I think having a time limit will help. If I can’t make this work in say… a year, I’ll make my way back into the cube.
All my best to you too.
September 20, 2013 at 6:38 am
I’ve never quit a job to follow my passion, but I used to get fired a lot. That helped, passion-wise.
September 20, 2013 at 10:03 am
Really? You look so responsible. Well, don’t fire yourself from following your passion. Never been fired, but I had a really difficult time working for a major corporation. I literally had whole meetings about SENTENCES. It was crazy!
I might work 9-5 again soon, we’ll see.
September 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm
Enjoyed the article!
September 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm
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October 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm
You can do anything you put your mind to! I wish you the best of luck with the freelancing!
October 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm
Thank you and thank you for following!
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