The Writing Life, Part 3—Why Freelance?

I was scared when I decided to take the leap from a full-time position as member of the editorial staff of a magazine to freelancing. But I was more scared not to.

That probably sounds odd, however, the thought of never experiencing the thrill of working for myself, of living my life only working for others terrified me more than the uncertainty that goes with not having a steady paycheck.

When I was growing up, most of the adults I knew—family, neighbors—owned their own businesses. I had difficulty understanding what my classmate’s fathers did for a living because they had to go to work at some destination called an office or a factory or a construction site.

At sixteen, I got my first ‘real’ job. I felt like a captive because I ‘had’ to be at work at a specific time each day. That feeling continued as I graduated college and entered the workforce. Even when I got my dream job working on the editorial staff of a magazine, I felt like a captive. I loved my job and the people I worked with were terrific. Still, I felt constrained by the requirements of being in an office for a specific length of time each day. I felt like I was missing out on my life.

In my mind, freelancing offered me the perfect mix of focused work time and flexibility. Sure, sometimes I had to be on site to work with a client. However, there were a lot of other times when I could work from home in the comfort of my own office. And those were the times that more than made up for when I needed to be on site.

They still are and they still do.

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