So the past few weeks, I’ve lamented about turning 35 and looking for a career, talking about internships, and getting a portfolio, etc. I probably mentioned what path I’m pursuing, but I don’t think I’ve explained exactly what it is I’m doing. So if you’re wondering why my awesome blog isn’t being updated every week (you know, when I’m actually updating every week), here’s the answer. Read the rest of this entry
People of my blog!
Okay, first – I’m sorry. I am, really. You know how real life gets me and I have to do that and then come back here, but more on that later. Important, awesome news, which actually does relate to that series I started back in December. So, if you’ll remember, I was doing a list of some of the best gifts you should consider when thinking about your freelancer. Well, as of this post, let’s just consider this the start of our phone and app section, yes? Read the rest of this entry
In my last post, I asked the question that I’m sure many writers ask themselves – should I get a portfolio? Portfolios are
a great visual way to show potential clients what you’ve done in your particular line of work; and with that said, most portfolio designs are geared towards that of the photographer or the designer, usually not the writer. Read the rest of this entry
So many freelancers traded their day jobs for the freedom that freelancing delivers that some corporate jobs don’t. For many of these guys and gals, they left their high paying corporate jobs in order to do their dream job – whether it be freelance writing, freelance web design, programming, etc, the idea of being able to work for yourself and doing what you love is appealing to everything that makes us human.
But along with that, many of these same freelancers will tell you to start small and start while you’re still working. The freelance life isn’t for everyone and for those who aren’t prepared, it’s easy to crash and burn.
I’m happy to say that I haven’t crashed and burned yet and for all my moaning about being more famine than feast, I actually enjoyed my time as a freelance writer; so much so that I’m still freelance writing. If you’ve been following, you know that I just scored a job as office manager for the local office of Assisted Transition; the job is great and looks to be allowing me to follow some of the interests and loves that I didn’t think I’d be able to in just one job description.
But Gina, if you’re doing the corporate thing, why are you still freelancing?
Well, the answer is pretty simple really. Extra money, but more than that, I’m still making a name for myself without the famine. Since I’ve been freelance writing I have noticed some trends – one is that the summer months are usually a lot slower than the rest of the year. This was certainly true last year when I struggled more during the months of June thru August, September. I haven’t figured out why, other than the fact that it’s the summertime, when everyone is out of school or taking vacations.
This is where having the job works well. But once things pick up, I’ll still be freelancing; I’ll just be ‘moonlighting’.
While my boss is aware that I freelance, I don’t do so at work (for obvious reasons), but that may not be the case with some other bosses, hence the moonlight nights. The best way to freelance and work? Finding a time that works well for you; I’ve discovered that trying to freelance after work does not work for me, but the weekends (like today) are perfect. It’s when I’m updating my website, doing the blog, and I’ve even assigned time for it.
Any readers out there freelancing and working at the same time? Let me know how it’s working for you in the comment section below!
- Why Blogs are Still Important for Freelancers (freelancefolder.com)
- 9 Things You Should Know About Freelancing Full-time (hongkiat.com)
- We are all freelancers now (winningbysharing.typepad.com)
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.
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!
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.