The Top 10 Reasons I became a Freelance Writer
- I was never a fan of a 9-5 Schedule
Working my way through college- I realized one important thing about myself, I had no desire to spend my life working 40+ hours a week for someone else, regardless of what they might be paying me. There was no fiber of my being that wanted to continuously travel the same commute, constantly abiding by a pre set schedule, and hoping that I would have a week or two of vacation time a year. I always thought earning a degree and heading off to work for the next 45 years was the only way to be “successful” , and most people will tell you “Well, that’s just how it is””
No. Heck no.
I obviously needed to make enough money to live on and help support my family, but I simply could not put a price tag on my freedom- On this one life that I get to live. And so I changed things.
I realized that I felt burned out easily when I had to face routine work schedules. After holding a few different jobs for a 2+ years at a time, I found that typically by the second year I felt like an animal trapped in a cage. My anxiety was out of control and I found myself looking forward to TOMORROW, always TOMORROW. It was time to make a life that I could enjoy.
- I’m an introvert
As many writers do, I find an overwhelming amount of peace in spending time alone. Other than my husband and my kids, most people make me nervous or exhausted easily. Writing however, is something that has always been natural to me, I feel it is easier to get my words out.
As a kid I used to sit in my room and write, write, write my little heart out. I had journals filled with stories and poems, but I was SO SHY that I could not even order my own food at a restaurant.
I could more easily write you a 100 page paper off the top of my head before I could walk into a room of strangers and strike up a conversation.
I like to choose when I socialize, and when I do not. If I am having a super introvert kind of day, I simply stay inside and play with my kids, or finish some work. On days that I am all for socializing, I can easily head out of the house and do so.
To me, the freedom to choose is a beautiful perk.
- My kids
Oh, these lovely little creatures that I gave birth to. In our society there are really only two choices- become a stay at home mom (In a sense, I suppose I have), or I should whisk them off to daycare 40+ hours a week, say goodbye to half of my paycheck. and basically see them on the weekends.
But I thought “Why can’t I do both?”- and my desire to build my own business became that much more inspired.
I do not have to miss any special events for my kids, worry about scheduling their doctors appointments, or fear being in trouble with work if one of them is sick and needs me to care for them. Since I’m my own boss- I can grant myself the day off when need be.
- I wanted to travel
I’m full of not so standard ideas. I’m not ready to settle down in a brick and mortar home and live there until my hair grays. I have things to do and things to see, and I want to show my kids to enjoy experiences over material objects. One of my goals is to get an RV and travel the United States for a year or two, which I’m now in the middle of planning.
When I realized I wanted to travel, I knew I needed to find a way to finance that way of life, and unfortunately a long lost relative has not willed me a large sum of cash, and the darn lottery has yet to pay up. So I searched the internet for ways to work from home, and things that could be done remotely.
I decided I wanted to write, but I also needed more time to work on my writing. Luckily I found a part time work from home job teaching English, and put in my two weeks at my employer. This way I had some money coming in for back up, while I pursued my areas of interest.
- I like a challenge
There is a misconception that some people have- that becoming a freelance writer is easy. It is not impossible, but does require a good amount of ambition and persistence.
“I must have so much free time because I work at home” no, not exactly. I still work, sometimes quite a lot, but it’s just at my own discretion. I can take breaks whenever the need arises.
I have overcame a great deal of adversity in my life, so new challenges are something I embrace with open arms. Before my husband, I was a single mother for years, and so I had mastered all sorts of problem solving. I was working midnights at a warehouse (where I was the only woman), living in my own home, raising my two kids and putting myself through college when I met my husband. Thanks to the wonderful human that he is, I had a vast amount of support when it came to pursuing freelancing. When you are used to going it alone, new challenges are not so scary with your best friend by your side.
- I wanted to homeschool
I was always interested in homeschooling my children- but how on Earth was I going to do that while also maintaining a career? Hello freelancing!
And no- I’m not homeschooling them for any crazy religious reasons, and they are not doomed to be awkward shut ins. My husband and I loved the idea of homeschooling for several reasons, one main reason being the flexibility. We make the hours, we can help them to discover their individual passions, and spend more time in areas where they need extra help.
When they get older if they want to attend traditional public school, more power to them, they are free to do so. I aim to raise my children to be critical thinkers, people who are capable of making their own choices and finding their own way. Plus, since they are home with me I have time for lots of extra snuggles while they are still small- and there is no rushing them off at 7am to the school bus.
- I LOVE to work, in my own way
I did not decide to leave formal employment because I don’t enjoy working. It is quite the opposite, I dive into work full force- at times too much- when it is something that I like to do. I just realized that I did not necessarily enjoy working for other people, being trapped in an office, and working at the exact same time every day. It takes a certain personality type to decide that freelancing is the way to go, and once I discovered it, I found that it just made sense for me.
I love to read, love to research, and love to create. Writing has always been an outlet for me, it just took me a while to realize that I had a knack for it. I always thought writing was a fairly common and unimpressive ability, until I started talking about freelancing and realized how many people told me “they could never do it” or that they “are not good writers/ hated to write”. For me, writing is just something that I genuinely like to do.
I have always enjoyed independent work, and I have no issue when it comes to self discipline and completing tasks. As most freelancers are, I am a go-getter.
- I earned a Bachelor’s Degree
Oh how I loathed thee, college. I had convinced myself in my early twenties that college was the only way I would ever be successful. I buckled down when my first child was a baby, and started attending school in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. As time went on, I enjoyed the information that I was studying, but just simply found that it was not exactly what I wanted to do with my life.
Was college a waste of my time though? I would say no. I met many influential people during my time, I became an avid researcher and wrote thousands of papers and essays.
Also I realized that I did not mind going to college because I was earning my degree online. And this really got my wheels turning- I liked my school because I could do my work anywhere at any time. This is how I wanted my career to be.
- I only have one chance to live a happy life
Everyone has their own idea of how life is supposed to be and what will bring them happiness. My happiness comes from spending quality time with my family, and doing work that I find enjoyable. I was more concerned with living a life where I could enjoy more of my time, over having a ton of money (even though I still do well). I did not want to wait until I was retired to enjoy the world around me, I did not want to wake up when my children were grown and realize I had spent my life working their childhood away. It was not for me.
I wanted to live life my own way, on my own terms.
I’m quite the realist. I have always been aware of how short my life really is, and how precious each day is. There is no guarantee that I’ll even still be around tomorrow, so I decided to believe in myself and run with my passions. I’d rather give myself a chance fail than regret never trying.
- My husband
My husband is the most wonderful and supportive partner I could ask for. So when I proposed to him that I wanted to quit my job and pursue writing full time- he didn’t even flinch. He simply said “You’re smart, I think you can do anything that you want to do”.
In a world full of people who tell you that freelancing is not a real job, or give you the reasons that your business ideas may fail- I have Cameren. Whenever I come up with one of my not-so-traditional ideas, he is on board without giving it a second thought.
I knew freelancing was for me because it gave me the ability to live the lifestyle that I wanted to live, and flexibility to be there for my family. I believe that if you can envision it- with a little effort, you can achieve it.