Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pros and Cons of Freelance Writing

As with most things, freelance writing has its pros and cons. While the pros are what draw most of us to a career as a freelance writer, it's important to explore the cons as well. Many can be overcome, but if you find you have difficulty dealing with one of the cons, it may be time to do some serious thinking about whether freelance writing is really the best career option for you.

  • You can work just about anywhere. I've worked from a hospital waiting room while my husband had a procedure and the backyard while my daughter played.
  • You set your own hours. In a regular 9 to 5 job, you generally have to plan activities around your work schedule. One of the things that drew me to freelance writing is being able to take my daughter to the park in the middle of the day if we wanted to go.
  • You can wear your bunny slippers to work and no one will laugh. Other than your spouse or kids anyway.
  • If you don't feel like doing a specific job, you can turn it down.
  • You don't have to tune out your coworkers chatter.
  • Unless you're ghostwriting, it's your byline on the work you do.
  • You have to find your own work. It doesn't matter if you're the best writer to ever attempt a freelance writing career. If you don't take the initiative to find work, odds are you won't survive as a freelance writer.
  • You have to be organized. A freelance writer with a reputation for missing deadlines will find it difficult to find jobs. I use a combination of a day planner and reminder on my computer to ensure I don't miss a deadline.
  • You're on your own with taxes. As an employee, taxes are automatically pulled out of your paycheck. When you freelance, you are responsible for paying the taxes yourself.
  • You have to have a thick skin. In a perfect world, we'd always get every job we wanted. In the real world, the job often goes to the writer with more experience, a lower rate or simply a different style or writing. Freelance writers have to be able to handle rejection.
  • It can be lonely.
What pros and cons have you found in your freelance writing career?

*Photo by Stephen Stacey.


Anonymous said...

I agree, there are many pros and cons yet I think the pros heavily outweigh the cons!

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