Thursday, 9 June 2016

A Few Thoughts on Freelancing



Today was National Freelancers Day, you probably already know that because your social media timelines will have been filled with smug statuses from all your freelancer friends. Not because freelancers are smug dicks, but because freelancing is actually bloody hard work and it’s nice to celebrate the positives every so often.

Freelancing isn’t easy. There are the weeks when there just enough work, the nights you lie awake worrying about whether you’ll have enough to pay the bills. And then, the nights spent glued to your laptop because you don’t like to turn work down and ended up with way too much to do. There’s the time spent pitching for work, the time you don’t get paid for unless you manage to secure the job. And the time you spend chasing unpaid invoicing, longing for the days of the past when money appeared in your bank on payday as if by magic. There’s the lack of sick pay and holiday pay, and the fact that this means you have to work extra hard some weeks to make it up.

I have been a freelance writer for over three years now and I love it. I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend my working hours. I love writing, I especially love writing about pregnancy and parenting and I really love the freedom that freelancing allows. I get to throw myself utterly and truly into the daily routine of being a mum, whilst also exercising my love of writing and earning money to boot. I feel really lucky to be able to call this my job.

When I first started out freelancing, I had no idea whether I would be able to do it. I didn’t have any contacts, I had no real experience and I wasn’t sure whether I had the talent necessary to make a go of things. I quickly scored my first job and things went from there. Pretty soon, I was managing to earn some money writing whilst Ebony napped upstairs and I was learning new skills. I still work for that first client and I feel completely supported, appreciated and understood working as part of that team. I now have a few extra clients on top and that’s more than enough for now.

I work when Ebony is at nursery, but when she gets back in the afternoon she has my undivided attention. Freelancing allows me to volunteer for school trips, attend all of those assemblies and pick her up from nursery. I know those things aren’t the be all and end all of motherhood, but they’re important to me and I’m really glad I get to be there for them.

Freelancing allows me a flexibility that I love. If Ebony is poorly, I can take the day off at a moment’s notice. If the weather is nice, I can take the day off and spend the day at the beach with Ebony (we did this last year and it was honestly the best day, I have never felt more happy to be a freelancer). If it snows, we can head out with the sledge without worrying about my workload. I love it and whilst it might not always be easy, it fits in perfectly with the family lifestyle I want. I can work from anywhere as long as I have a laptop and internet access. I don’t have to commute, I can wear pyjamas to work and I can have a lie in whenever I feel like it (usually: never, during pregnancy: always).

So, I just wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate freelancing and the excellent impact it has had on my life. Happy freelancers day!

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