Upon first glance, this question might seem a bit out of place considering the fact that most of my readers are looking at freelance work as a viable career option for them. But it’s important that you consider whether or not this is something that you want to do, especially because it’s vastly different than traditional work.
In one of my other posts, I listed a number of benefits that come with working as a freelance writer and editor. But it’s important that my readers also have the cons to this business, which can be just as long as the pros. So, let’s begin.
One of the challenges in working full-time at this job is that you will spend a great deal of time doing other things besides writing or editing. Unlike a traditional job in which the work is provided to you and you complete it, with freelancing, you have to market yourself as well as conduct the work. You have to generate the clientele before you can complete the work. That can take away from the joy of simply writing or editing, but it is necessary if you want to make this business profitable.
Consider another challenge: the inconsistent income. Each month will have its own income based on the clients you receive. For me, it is impossible to project what I will make each month unless I have a long-term contract. For this reason, I have to expand my business to create multiple streams of income. At this point, I am able to generate a steady flow of money because I provide professional development training to adult learners at a career college in Sacramento. Although I do not work as an independent contractor with this company, I am utilizing my expertise as a professional writer and editor for this organization. In addition to working twenty hours a week for the college, I work an additional forty hours per work on the freelancing part. This, my dear readers, brings me to another challenge you will have to face if this is your career choice.
Freelance work is non-stop. If you want to make real money from this business, you have to commit to it longer than the traditional job. No more 9-5. Try 5:00 am to 9:00 pm, if not later. As far as vacation or sick leave goes, just know that the time you take away from your business is money that is going to another freelancer. (This, of course, does not negate you from taking time to rest during the week. I will discuss this in another post.) If you are not willing to put in twelve or more hours a day, then this is not the career for you.
Let’s consider one more con to this profession: the difficulty in separating work from home. While working from home is truly a benefit for most people, it can also be a challenge and obstacle for others. At times, it becomes impossible to set aside the work because you literally live where it lives. It’s not like the traditional job in which you can leave your assignments at the office and return to them later. Instead, as a freelancer, you are constantly confronted by the many assignments that need to be created so that your business can thrive. Of course, this may work well with some individuals; but I have read and even experienced in my own life that balancing work and home life can be difficult. Therefore, if you are not willing to fight through this type of frustration, then freelancing is the not the route for you.
So, I hope this post gave you more perspective in terms of whether or not having your own writing business works best for you. For me, the benefits outweigh the challenges. I understand that I am doing something that will establish a life-long career for me and my daughter. As you think about your possible career choices, consider what you are willing to sacrifice in order to make this dream happen. Leave me a comment below, expressing what you think is another challenge in having a freelance business.
And as always, let’s grow together!
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