Freelance writing! The highs and the lows of ‘living your dream’.

No Comments

I used to ruminate constantly about my perfect life as a freelancer. Writing has been my passion for a long time and I’ve always known in my heart that I wanted to give it a serious try as part of my career.

I finally got my chance when I was offered redundancy from Yahoo! and I believed that becoming a full time writer meant I’d be happier than a puppy with a new pair of slippers to chew on.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect job, and now that I’ve been doing it for two months I’ve learned a lot about what’s involved. Every wonderful thing that happens has an ‘uh-oh’ moment to counter it and keep me centred. These are my highs and lows now that I’m self-employed.

Low

So lonely! I sit by myself with only the dog for company a lot of the time. I’m a social creature and I miss my friends at work, who I genuinely loved. I counter this by staying in touch with them electronically and having regular catch ups whenever I’m in the city.

High

Meeting so many new people! I’ve been going to networking events to revitalise a list of contacts which had stagnated after eight years in the same job. I love working a room and even if I don’t get a job from it right away it makes me feel like I’m building a good foundation for myself. The other bonus is that it is amazing to meet people doing such amazing things with their careers and their lives and I get so inspired to push myself to be better at what I do.

Low

Applying for jobs constantly. When you’re setting up as a freelancer you’re a job hunter on steroids and you can’t back down from reaching out to people, trawling freelance websites and making cold calls. You’re always selling yourself and hoping that you’ll get a follow up email or phone call. I try to get the message across as quickly as possible that I’m adaptable, professional and the right person for the job so that I can spend time working on work instead of job applications.

High

Getting jobs! What a great feeling when the phone rings and someone wants your help. It’s an even better sensation when the feedback at the end of a finished project is positive and you have made a customer happy and boosted their chances of being recognised in the market. I get a kick from the nice things people say about me… don’t we all?

Low

Staying organised. All of a sudden I’m juggling a complete website rewrite, creating copy for an online jewellery store, committed to uploading content for an app every day and having regular phone calls for an amazing documentary that I’m doing the research for. I’ve got lots of people depending on me and I need to deliver or I won’t get paid. I’ve started actually using the task management app Trello (when I worked full time I never really made more than a half-hearted attempt) and I’ve found it has made a big difference to getting things done on time.

High

Not having to rush every morning. Being able to start working without a mad panic to catch the bus and then make the inevitable dash through the city in uncomfortable heels is just rocking my world. I had a four hour commute and now those hours are mine to get stuck into actually working.

Low

Managing money. Going from a paycheque once a month to wondering where the money to pay my bills will come from is a big shock. It gives me the drive to push for new clients and to do excellent work so that people will recommend me. I’m also learning to manage my time so that I’m not faffing about when I could be earning.

High

Writing for a living! I love it. I love it like a My Kitchen Rules contestant loves an appreciative nod from Manu Fidel. What an amazing feeling to be pottering about with words all day, coming up with that exact description which fits the brief and creating content that is exciting and fun. It is such a thrill to see my work in print or online and to know that it carries a little piece of my heart and soul.

Clea Sherman is a Sydney based copywriter. Contact her today to find out how she can help you. Feature Photo by Alan Weir

Previous Post
Maydena Mountain Bike Park for Beginners
Next Post
Business lessons you can learn from doing stand up comedy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed