I've been running across quite a few lists online lately filled with reasons NOT to become a freelance writer. Obviously, the writers were taking out their frustrations during a bad day - or perhaps they had envisioned something completely different when they decided to become a freelance writer and ended up sorely disappointed. In any case, there are certainly more than a few negatives when it comes to being a freelance writer, but I think it's time we look at the positive. For those of us who plan to work for a living writing for the rest of our lives, or as long as humanly possible, remembering why we started in the first place can be a great way to get motivated.
1. You are no longer stuck in a cubicle for 8 hours a day, or longer in most cases, or tied down to a dead in job that you dread when you wake up in the morning. You can choose to write wherever you want - the local coffee shop, the park, the beach or in your PJs at home.
2. Working online means you can live almost anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the internet.
3. Having your own business means that you also reap all of the rewards of your work. You can work as many, or as few, hours as you want - setting your own level of income to a certain extent.
4. You can set your own schedule - whether it means working at night if you're more productive then - and if you have other obligations you'll be free to take care of those too.
5. You can choose what you want to write about. Writing about what interests you and you have the most passion for produces great results that rarely feel like "work."
6. No commute. No stressful traffic jams while saving on the exorbitant expense of gas, and most importantly, precious time.
7. You're paid for what you love to do - create!
8. You have an unlimited market across the globe that's only limited by what you decide to do.
9. If you enjoy helping people, your writing can do that by providing advice and ideas that readers can benefit from. In some cases, you might help to spread the word about a good cause or inspire someone to find their own calling.
10. If you have writing skills, it doesn't matter how young or old you are, what you look like, where you live in the world, if you're rich or poor - all that matters is that you can write.
I find it rather ironic that my last post harps on websites that don't use, or don't keep up with their blog, yet I've failed to write here for nearly three months.
In light of that, I thought I'd write about options for finding more time to keep up with your own blog, but the only ideas I could come up with - or that were suggested by others, were not exactly helpful.
A few including staying up later or waking up earlier. But losing too much sleep is a good way to kill creativity and often leads to more stress and even illness. If you're already working 6 a.m. to 10 or 11 at night, stretching your hours on either end is not going to work, at least not for more than a short period of time.
Regardless, there is probably quite a bit of unproductive time lost to meaningless web browsing or, the most common issue, Facebook. By closing out of Facebook more often, I'm sure I can squeeze at least 15 minutes out of my day to spend time writing my blog. It's all about priorities.
If I have a deadline given by a client, I'll do everything in my power to meet that deadline, but with my own blog, I have no one peering over my shoulder or telling me it must be done by midnight, Sunday. This makes it very easy to put off, and put off the next day until before you know it, three months have gone by.
For me, what works best is telling someone I'll do something. First, I plan to stay away from Facebook for the majority of the afternoon, perhaps from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. which should allow me at least an extra 15-30 minutes a day to keep up with my personal blog. I've said it, so now I'll have to do it. Stay tuned.
What does everyone else do to find more time in the day? Other than turning the clocks back an hour tonight, that is- one of my favorite days of the year!