I just read an article by Allison Boyer lamenting yet another “freelancing is easy and anyone can do it” type article, so I wanted to throw my two pence in.
If you’ve spent any time freelance writing at all, you know by now just how easy it is. After all, all you need to do is write well, do research, be disciplined enough to follow a regular schedule, remember to file your articles on deadline, send invoices, keep all your publications and editors straight, be a subject matter expert on something or other, and market yourself until the sun doesn’t shine.
Of course, I’d be remiss in my snark if I didn’t throw in something about not abusing the comma and the apostrophe, but freelancers know how easy it is to catch all those spelling errors and bad word choices. Simple, right? And how about those paychecks? Every magazine and website pays on time, generously, and always throws you more work. They care about you personally and how high your rent is, they really really do.
I don’t really know what Allison Boyer’s complaining about.
Oh, and lest you think this post is snark for snark’s sake, here is a list of five ways you CAN make your freelance life a little bit easier:
5. Buy a STURDY and COMFORTABLE office chair the FIRST TIME AROUND. Don’t skimp on that damn thing thinking you’ll get used to it later. Trust me, you won’t.
4. Buy a BIG NOTEBOOK for your yearly expenses. Write it all down, even the stuff you already have receipts for. Wanna know why? Today’s receipts tend to fade horribly. At tax time when you’re left with a bunch of nearly blank scraps of register receipts, you’ll be grateful. Also, how much did you spend online on your business this year via PayPal? Can’t remember? Do you really want to go fumbling through all those online transactions again?
3. I try to do one thing on Sunday night that I’d otherwise have to tackle on Monday morning. Taking one thing off my plate for Monday makes the whole start of the week so much nicer…
2. When shamelessly promoting myself on other people’s blogs, I always check “notify me of replies by e-mail”. That way I don’t forget about that blog comment post or miss other people replying to my “wisdom”. Seeing all those replies reminds you to be active on that blog and show your happy face there more often.
1. I like to actually help out my fellow freelancers by turning them on to jobs and opportunities when I stumble across them when out searching for stuff to write about. I find that I get more work from my grateful colleagues (who do likewise for me) than I give them credit for. Sometimes the best writing gigs and assignments aren’t yours to find, they’re passed to you because people know what you do. Freelance karma, baby.