What writer hasn't dreamed of working from their back porch on a sunny day, with a laptop and a cold drink?
Aside from the ability to work in your pajamas, as a freelancer you can set your own rate of pay, choose which projects to spend your time on, and make your own rules.
But there's a dark side to freelance writing that keeps many of us from jumping ship. The great "unknown" is waiting for us, like the dark spots in deep water; we can't see the bottom.
If you're like me, you've probably thought about freelancing often. And every time, such thoughts lead to concerns about...
Will you make enough to survive?
While freelance rates sound promising compared to a 9 to 5 job, who can say whether the market will sustain you? There's a reason most consultants advise putting away six months worth of emergency savings. Sometimes the work just doesn't come.
If you're an introvert, do you have what it takes to call clients and promote your services?
Are you ready to meet new people, get to know their business goals, and sell them on your ability to help meet those goals?
Can you ask someone who owes you money to pay up?
Freelancing requires a whole new set of communication skills. The only way to land work is to sell your services effectively.
If you freelance, the days of waiting around for the next project are gone. Instead, you'll struggle to keep up, since freelance writing requires you to handle managing the books, administrative tasks, sales, and customer service. Also, when a project goes bad, the responsibility to fix it lies squarely on your shoulders.
I still find myself dreaming of working from my back porch, lemonade and laptop in hand.
The great "unknown" still makes me nervous. But I imagine those unknown factors will shake out soon enough for anyone who jumps in to test the waters. Plus, there's always the option of tiptoeing in, one freelance writing job at a time.
And if you take the plunge, maybe you'll find that your entrepreneurial spirit is perfectly suited for swimming those dark waters. Maybe you'll make way more money than you are now, and actually enjoy meeting new people and running the show.
So, does the thought of freelancing scare you?