Freelancing Isn’t Fun, Writing Is

Traditional freelance writer work system.

Image via Wikipedia

So after a fairly big high, I’ve hit a low. And I had a talk with myself and came to this conclusion.

I hate freelancing.

Now, I could easily point to being stuck in my house 24/7 or the constant work I have to do; or the complete and utter lack of motivation, which leads to a lack of productivity. I could, but I won’t. This morning after another pseudo all nighter, I was at my computer hoping to work on something. Didn’t happen and I had the ultimate feeling of, I need to get out of here.

Headed up to Starbucks, I had an inner monologue, bemoaning my life and cursing the government for fixing our employment issues, yadda yadda. I then came upon a thought – I hate writing.

Wait. What?

That can’t be right?

We hate writing!? There are many things that I, the Ginanator hate – carrots, for one (natural enemy) and Hollywood for ruining my childhood by making crap remakes of my favorite and loved shows, but writing? We love writing!

Don’t we?

There was a struggle, but in the end…yes, the love of writing is still there. But there is no love for freelancing. As a beginning freelancer, you’ve of course heard the ole “treat it like a business” or “treat it like a job”; that might be all well and good for something you’ve just discovered you liked doing, like consulting, but for me, I’ve found turning a beloved hobby into a job a taxing and stressful ability.

This is where I take my idealism and shove it off a high-rise building. As we all know, jobs aren’t fun; they aren’t meant to be. They are meant to further your career goals and ultimately, make you money. This isn’t to say that you can’t find a job you enjoy; that happens too and I don’t want to discourage you if you happen to love being a freelancer.

Many people do. At this moment, I don’t.

But there’s nothing I can do about it. Like any job you take because it’s there, I’m stuck doing freelancing until either the job market improves or I luck out and actually find a job. And there’s nothing that says that, after years of working I won’t be ready to give freelancing another go, cause I could.

Since undergoing this new employment path, I have struggled. I’m a social person, so not being able to talk to people grinds on me and then there’s my ego. See, my creative ego is often praised on its writing ability. I have often said that my writing skills are my greatest asset and talent (next to my musical ones). In all of my original and fan fiction writing, I’ve had mostly good praise.

Creative writing is nothing like professional writing. The only thing that ties them together is the writing part. So you’ll imagine my surprise when I get article rejections or I go down from 4 to 3 stars; my ego doesn’t like that (whose would?)

My main problem, I think, is that I can’t separate the enjoyment I get from writing with the freelancing job portion. I mean, if I’m hating freelancing so much, does that mean I hate writing in general? Does this mean I hate it so much that I’ll *gasp* never write anything creative again?

My little creative writer is freaking out right now, just so you know. No, CW, it doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing. You’ll certainly see to it that another idea will come popping along before I finish writing this blog. It does mean, however, that I need to start thinking of these as two separate entities and that’s going to be hard.

I haven’t been thinking of freelancing as a job, cause writing shouldn’t be a job or a chore for me. I love it! And I still will and still can; I just need to think of freelancing as what it is – my cash cow. I go into to work to work and make money. That’s all. Yeah, it’s the opposite advice that professional freelancers will give you, but they’re making crazy money and I’m not.

So if you’re like me and think your creative half is dead because you freelance, here’s the mantra I came up with on my way to Starbucks.

  • Freelancing isn’t fun. It’s a job and jobs aren’t meant to be fun. They are meant to earn money.
  • You want to earn money. Freelancing is your job. This job will earn you money, but it won’t be fun.
  • In the cases that fun is had, enjoy it. But remember that fun doesn’t earn money. Jobs do.
  • Earning money is fun.
  • Freelancing isn’t fun; however writing (design, programming, DTP, etc) is and don’t forget that. If you can bridge them together, that’s awesome. If you can’t, don’t worry. Freelancing, like any job, may not always be there; but your creativity will be.

 

About freelancer66r

A beginner in freelancing, writing has always been a part of my life. In 2010, I embarked on a new life as a part-time freelancer to earn extra money; in 2011, I'm hoping to take this further by being an actual freelancer.

Posted on July 23, 2011, in Beginnings, The Business Side and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Tom, first, thanks for the comment! And you’re right – especially now, trying to earn money isn’t the easiest thing to do. As I stated and told a friend of mine, the problem I have is separating the two; so when articles get rejected, I’m immediately affronted with the fact that I can’t write and why bother. The problem is that professional writing and creative are two separate things within the same genre. I have a long long history and experience of being a creative writer; I’m just starting something in being a professional writer and that’s the issue I think – I get butt hurt over the professional stuff and immediately link it to my creative stuff and they aren’t the same.

    I think it’s something that everyone struggles with if they are merging a hobby into a career, especially if it’s something creative. Thanks again for the comment!

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