Thursday, January 2, 2014

Freelancing in Fuzzy Socks

Cornflakes and turkey bacon to start my day
I have been purely freelance for approximately a whole 60 hours, so to say that I am an expert or know the ins and outs of how it's going to be long-term would be a bit of a stretch lie. However, what I do know is this:

I wake up to my alarm an hour later. I used to get up at 5:40 a.m., hit snooze three times and then roll out of bed and rush out the door, maybe having breakfast, often times not. Now, I set my alarm for 6:40 and am ready to get out of bed. I still get ready as if I am going to a desk job; when really I am headed to the makeshift office my boyfriend helped me set up in the dining room. I have time to make him eggs and time to enjoy a bowl of cornflakes while I check emails and plan my day. I still have a schedule, but this one is so much more my pace. And yes, I am wearing fuzzy socks.

I feel excited about writing again. For all my fellow writers who have balanced "real jobs" with their writing passion know what it's like to fit in writing over lunch breaks and after work only to feel exhausted and uninspired. To be a writer, you have to know from the beginning that as far as income, most likely, you aren't going to make shit. If you are in it for the money, you've already failed. If you are in it for instant gratification, you are in for some sore surprises. But now that I can segment my time, because all day long I'm writing, and give proper dedication to what I want to write about. Those creativity breaks have already helped spark better production in my professional writing as well.

I want to work harder. Some people like to equate freelance to being unemployed, and maybe had I tried this right out of college or even a few years ago, I wouldn't have the proper discipline to be successful. Maybe I'd wake up closer to ten o'clock, write a blog, and call it a day. Since freelance means that today you could be cruising on easy street and tomorrow your luck could dry up, I take every project I'm on seriously. I put 100% effort into everything I do, every writing assignment I submit. A former employee of mine went to a seminar once and came back with this: "What do you give your most valuable employees?" A raise? A vacation? Nope, my friend, you give them more work. I know now my hard work will be met with reward rather than more meaningless work. It makes me strive for more.

I get to decide what is the most effective strategy for success. I get to schedule time off without having to worry about if I have enough vacation built up. I get to choose to put in long days, knowing it is building something up for me in the end. I know I will be valued because I am my own boss. 

I get to feed my soul. I'd be lying if I said that everything I've ever written is interesting, exciting, or even that original. Sometimes the copy is meant to be more factual and therefore may seem dry. Sometimes the topic is flat out boring. But I get to feed my soul knowing I did a damn good job. I can be proud of my effort. When I turn my work over to someone, I know they can use that to help their business grow. When I meet my goals, I've helped others meet theirs, too.

I could go on and on about what I know when there are people who question what I don't. I don't know if it will work out. I don't know if this will be profitable for me in the long run. I don't know how to answer the questions that people ask someone who has to decided to give up a steady job for potentially unsteady work.

I've bet it all on the belief of creating a happy life. You can't possibly do that worrying about stuff you "don't know" and ignoring all the incredible things you do.

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