Categorized | For the love of writing, News

Freelancing: The Final Frontier

Posted on 10 April 2012 by Alice

Six months in, and my newly-fledged career as a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor and all-things-word-related-provider is going pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Of course, the first few months were quite tough and I went through what all freelancers go through: lack of payment, lack of work, lack of general ability to make a living. Four months in, however, and things brightened up when I started to break even. The most refreshing thing I’ve found is that I no longer resent working on projects that I maybe don’t find too thrilling. Whereas working for a large company would occasionally make me (and a lot of others I’ve spoken to) begrudge the daily grind, now the daily is no grind at all. I’ve found myself accepting all kinds of different work, from article writing and interviews to copywriting for a lipstick brochure and writing a complete business guide. In my case, I think diversification was key – while I love to review books and interview authors, I realised that doing this alone wasn’t going to result in a very good work-to-payment ratio.

And so I diversified, as so many companies have had to over the years. A year ago I don’t think I would have seen myself writing on all the topics I do today; but a good writer can write on any topic, right? Having trained as a multimedia journalist I invested in basic camera equipment, which has paid off. I’ve been hired for numerous video shoots, edits and media management, which all helps to supplement my earnings.

Working from home has had its ups and downs – while my cat is very happy to have day-in, day-out company, he does become a bit too loud for me to bear at times. Another thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people seem to think that if you work from home you’ve also become a housewife. Not so! In fact, I work longer, harder hours now than I ever have. That’s not something I notice a lot; however, as I’m now in a position to actually enjoy the work I’ve taken on.

Unfortunately, I have been taught a tough lesson in the posture stakes, having worked from home on a laptop for the past six months. I suppose it’s common sense that you should sit with your legs and back at 90-degree angles, but that’s something I’ve overlooked. Cue slipped disc in my neck – ouch! It’s causing no end of havoc with my pain receptors, nerve endings and actually stopped me from reading a rather cumbersome book I’m due to review. With my desk ergonomics now totally revised though, I’m at last able to sit at my desk for more than 45 minutes, and with another 7 weeks of physiotherapy ahead, my neck and work ethic should be back in full swing soon.

Beware! This posture is not very good for your spine...

When I give out my card, the reaction is generally one of surprise and then confusion. Surprise that I’ve taken the plunge into working for myself and confusion at both the fact that it’s not as hard as I thought it would be and I’m actually making a living.

Vive le self-employment!

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2 Responses to “Freelancing: The Final Frontier”

  1. Gwen Potter says:

    I can’t believe you’ve been freelance for six months now! I’m really pleased that your business is growing and that you’re enjoying diversifying.

    Thank goodness your neck is becoming more comfortable – I hope the seven weeks physiotherapy get you back to full health and strength. I’m so glad you’re sorting out the posture issues while you’re working.

    Congratulations all round and here’s to the next six months – keep up the good work!

  2. Shaahima says:

    Cheers for that Alice.

    Quite the boost/reality check(que?) for others looking to go down that route.