A Love Hate Affair With Freelancing

If you are in a constant juggle over whether you hate or love your freelancing job, take a look at Guest Blogger Jessica Velasco's thoughts on her job as a freelance writer.

Here Jessica goes ...

Why do I love ... err hate my life as a freelancer? Let me explain - as a typical woman, I can never make up my mind about anything. 

Do I love my job?  Do I hate my job?  do you love or hate freelancing?

As a full-time freelance writer, it is sometimes hard to decide.

Freelancing comes with an abundance of highs.  It also comes with its fair share of lows.

The point of this article is three fold.  If you are considering life as a freelancer, let me tell you what’s in store for you. 

If you are already living the life as an independent contractor, I hope this article helps you understand you are not alone in the world. 

Lastly, I've got to admit ... this freelancing blog is an opportunity for me to vent!

I Love My Freelancing Job

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

1.    First and foremost, I love the independence.  As Julia Roberts said, “I say who.  I say when.”  I pick who I want to work for.  I choose which freelance projects are within my sphere of expertise.  I can say yes to a challenge or walk away from something too demanding/stressful/outside my comfort zone. 

2.    If I want to take a day off work, I can (assuming my budget can withstand the shortage and my client is satisfied with the work I’ve accomplished so far).  I don’t have to beg my boss for time off.  I don’t have to cross my fingers and hope someone can work for me.  If I want to go to the beach at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon, I can.

3.    I am not tied to a desk.  If I want, I can sit with my laptop on my sofa with my feet propped up on the coffee table and work while eating a bowl of ice cream.  It is just as easy to work from my home in my home office as it is from a hotel room in London as it is from a beach in the Bahamas. 

4.    I don’t have to spend a fortune on office attire.  My wardrobe doesn’t have a single power suit and there are zero uncomfortable (but trendy) office heels in my closet.  I can wear my pajamas all day long if I want to.

5.    I am still involved in my kids’ lives.  Sure, I work full-time; but I work from home.  I eat breakfast with my kids.  I am always available (and willing) to pick them up from school early when they have the sniffles.  I can have snow days too.  I can chaperone fieldtrips.  I don’t have to worry about what is happening back at the office while I wait for a doctor’s appointment.

6.    I am a fount of information.  As a content guest writer, I am often called on to write about a wide variety of topics.  As such, I know a lot of random tidbits that no one would ever deem worthy enough to worry about.

7.    I meet a lot of great people who are also brimming with knowledge and creativity.  Over the last few years, I have worked for some truly inspiring entrepreneurs.  I am encouraged by their willingness to take leaps and gamble in areas where I wouldn’t normally be willing to risk it.  I am introduced to products like this – an anti-aging pillow – and the people who look at a market and say there is room for one more.  I mean, I had never even heard of a beauty pillow before working with this client.  Now, I’ve been persuaded to rethink my entire beauty regimen!   

8.    I can work when the creativity strikes – and not a moment earlier.  Staring at a blank computer screen, waiting for inspiration to strike is maddening.  Since creativity doesn’t usually adhere to a 9-5 workday, I can avoid the stress of working when I am required to and work when it best suites my workflow.

I Hate My Freelancing Job

Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Sonnet 43 started out on the right foot, but I think her final thoughts might have hit the nail on the head:  I shall but love thee better after death.

1.    I may not have a boss constantly looking over my shoulder, but I am still at the mercy of “someone” else – technology.  Nothing makes me more frustrated than spotty internet.  I live in a small town where there aren’t many internet providers available.  When there is very little incentive to be better than the competitors, the internet company tends to sit back on its laurels.  I HATE that my internet can randomly seize up, causing me to curse the entire world and everyone in it.  And don’t even get me started on computer programs I can’t operate, tech terminology that people assume is easy to understand, files that get lost in space, viruses that mess everything up or motherboards that crash.

2.    I am sometimes on a hamster wheel that I can never escape because it is constantly spinning (nearly out of control).  What am I talking about?  The never ending hunt for prospective clients.  I HATE searching for clients.  Remember when you were applying for your first job and you had to write a resume, draft a cover letter, and hone your interviewing skills?  There are times when I go through that same hateful process ten times a day.

3.    I sometimes don’t know if there will be enough money to pay the bills.  When things are going good, the freelance paychecks are great.  But when I slip into a lull of client work, I sometimes struggle to make ends meet.  With a husband and kids to worry about, that is a pretty stressful position to find yourself in.  Freelancing might have been more enjoyable in my hay days when there was only me, myself and I to worry about feeding.
Well, I guess now that I put it all down on paper, I finally have my answer.  My mind has been made up.  You can’t really argue with a score of 8 to 3. 

I guess I love my freelancing job! 

Go figure!

Jessica Velasco is (obviously) a freelance writer who (sometimes) enjoys writing content for various clients.  If you want to read more about her life as a freelancer and how she came to choose this line of work, check out one of her recent guest posts.