What’s the best part about being a freelancer? Working from home in your favorite socks? Choosing the projects you take on? Taking breaks when you want?
A while ago, I talked a bit about what it’s like being a freelance writer.
Now I want to focus on the main benefits—the reasons why you may want to choose to freelance over working for a publication, marketing agency, and so on.
1. You can work from home
Arguably the biggest reason for becoming a freelance writer is the comfort of working from home. Goodbye, daily commute to work! Goodbye, driving/waiting for the bus/walking in the rain!
You can work in bed if you want—nobody will mind.
Freelancing is great if you’d rather not leave home all that often or live in a neighborhood/town that requires a long commute to a good job.
Of course, there are disadvantages to working from home, but I’ll talk about those in a future post.
2. You can move around
Freelancing won’t tie you to a place.
If you plan to travel or would like to live as a nomad or expat, freelancing offers you the kind of flexibility you simply can’t have with most other jobs.
In essence, you can work anywhere you can take your laptop with you. Okay, maybe this is a bit of an overstatement.
You also need a few other things…
- an internet connection
- a good mouse/trackpad
- a power outlet within charging range
- tolerable noise levels
- the ability to focus on work in a novel surrounding
3. You can pick your clients
Nobody will force you to work with a client you don’t like.
If problems arise, you can end your contract or collaboration before the situation becomes stressful or unpleasant.
You can choose to invest time into relations with clients you get along with.
As we all know, in a corporate setting you have little to no control over the clients that come in.
4. You have a strong sense that you’re working for yourself
Being a freelancer is essentially a solo business.
Your efforts go toward improving your reputation and establishing connections with clients.
It’s rewarding to know that all the effort you invest in your work goes into your business, not someone else’s (whose long-term goals could be very different from your own).
Of course, being a one-person business comes with its own set of challenges. But let’s leave that to another post.
5. You can take a break whenever you want
There’s a flow to the work you take as a freelancer—you have to keep taking on work to stay busy.
Still, there’s nothing that can stop you to take a break when you feel you have to. I don’t necessarily mean a holiday in the usual sense of the world.
If something unexpected comes up—a trip, a date, an event, or just the blues—you can usually call it a day unless you’re maxed out on work.
If you need long weekends for travel or some other specific arrangement, you can work more in advance. With most jobs, that’s simply not possible. With most jobs, you have to be there every day and grind on.
6. You can choose the projects you take on
As a freelancer, you will naturally gravitate toward projects that appeal to you.
Money will always be a consideration, but if you dislike writing on financial topics or car insurance, nobody will force you to.
Choosing what mental content occupies your mind is important, and as a freelancer, you have some control over that.
7. You can set your own working hours
Maybe you don’t like waking early or working in the morning. Maybe you’re a night owl.
As a freelancer, your schedule is not set in stone—most types of projects won’t require you to be there during specific hours.
Choosing working hours that suit you can help you write better and enjoy the creative process more.
8. You are challenged to constantly improve
You have to keep your writing sharp to make a positive impression on the people you work with and keep getting more work.
This keeps you motivated—you strive to make your writing the best you can.
Writers are not like athletes. Training is not enough to make us better. We have to deal with variables and influences beyond our conscious minds.
Still, having deadlines and tackling different projects can be challenging in a positive way.
9. You reduce expenses
Working from home means you don’t have to travel to work every day. You’ll save money on gas/public transportation fees/bicycle maintenance.
It also means you can save money on food, drinks, and other expenses—we all know that eating at home is cheaper and, usually, healthier.
Another side effect of working from home is that you will most likely start spending less money on clothes.
10. You become a better marketer
Knowing how to “sell” yourself is important. In many professions, it’s just as important as the skills you have, if not more.
As a freelancer, you have to do quite a bit of marketing—you have to be persuasive when you apply to jobs and talk projects with clients.
Communication is important and it’s often what makes the difference between winning or losing a nice project.
The perks of being a freelancer boil down to working on your own terms. You have more control over your time and the sort of work you do.
You don’t have full control—that’s only an illusion. You still have to make compromises if you want to get steady work.
But if work is for you more than an exchange of time in return for money, becoming a freelance writer can make a positive difference in your life. It’s a simple and honest way to embrace a pleasant lifestyle that leaves you time for your passions.
Having said that, the benefits of being a freelance writer are balanced by an equal number of disadvantages—I’ll talk about those soon.
Until then, take care!