While in the middle of writing a blog, I got distracted by the Internet, and somehow found a story about a day in the life of a freelance writer. I read it, along with a few similar articles by different authors, and was amazed to have much in common with each story. Now one would think that since I am a freelance writer, of course I could relate to tales written by others of my kind. But that got me to thinking…I guess at times I still don’t think of myself as a freelance writer.
It’s ludicrous, but true. I graduated with a degree in Journalism, wrote a huge thesis related to the media, and have been writing on my own for a year and half. I have been able to pay the majority of my bills each month with just my content writing services, and lately, I’ve been more than able to pay my bills. I’ve progressively worked toward and met my goals, as I have multiple long-term clients that give me a steady stream of work. For the last month, I have been almost too busy to keep marketing, and apparently too busy to write a new blog.
All signs point to me being a freelance writer. Yet when I hear about other writers, whether through their business blogs or fun articles, I automatically assume they are more successful and more of a writer than I am. I’m guessing it’s because I’m a perfectionist, so unless I’m the picture-perfect image of a particular role, I don’t consider myself to fit in that position.
The funny thing is, according to these freelance writing adventures, I do fill the bill. In nearly every article I’ve read regarding the typical writer, they lounge around in sweatpants and shirts that don’t match. Of course, Arizona calls for comfortable shorts rather than sweatpants, but the ratty shirts that don’t match definitely describe my best work attire. The fact that I hate shoes and binding clothes in general makes this outfit perfect for me, so it looks like, based on clothes at least, my career choice was excellent.
Most writers of these articles also claim to get their best writing done late at night, somewhere in the vicinity of 3 AM. I’m naturally a night owl, and the fact that my husband also freelances means finishing work at 4 AM is a perfectly normal night…er, morning. However, client communication is best done during waking hours for the non-vampires of the world, so it is frustrating when I have a question late at night that no one can answer until the next day. I try to refrain from sending emails past regular business hours lest some proper client should raise an eyebrow in disapproval at such unprofessional conduct. But I’m beginning to realize that most are probably used to dealing with emails at such hours if they’ve ever worked with a freelancer before.
Last week, a change in schedule prompted me to start waking up a bit earlier than normal, at 7 AM. The funny thing is that I was beginning to feel more like a professional freelancer since I had regular office hours, until I read the articles detailing most of their waking hours. Apparently to be a real writer I need to go back to odd hours. Maybe then I’ll finally fit the freelance writer title in my mind.
Is your work day as a freelancer at all like the ones so often described? Do you think of yourself as a real freelancer, and if not, what will it take to do so?