I never had a job as a writer. I worked in the advertising field, design industry, marketing sector, research field, and even in oil and gas – and none of the aforementioned jobs had a “writer” position tagged to it.
Yet somehow, I was always writing. I was writing briefs, codes, press releases, articles, reports – you name it. And my writing was complimented often.
I did do a lot of writing on the side. Since I was young, I juggled working with school newsletters, music zines, and even co-founded a lifestyle magazine. I wrote articles for some blogs, contributed posts to some columns and even helped a few clients with their books.
I had the liberty of choice. I was lucky enough to choose between writing as a passion or writing as a career.
I decided to choose both.
And then I had the daunting task of making another decision – full time or freelance.
Again, being very greedy, I chose both.
The tag of “freelance writer”, however stuck with me. I don’t have a “9 to 5” job as a writer. Nobody calls me “their writer”. I don’t work for one specific person. Unless you consider me my own boss.
And that’s just the way I like it.
If you’re new to writing, and asking yourself the same questions I asked, here are some other reasons I chose the freelance route instead. If it’s something you think you can follow, then do so. Either way, you should have a better idea of your answers by the end of this article.
I prefer working alone
I suppose due to my rather introvert nature, working in an office surrounded by people is not really my cup of tea. I love productive discussions and teamwork, but I’m definitely not for the side dishes they serve up – office politics and unreasonable clients that I don’t have the liberty to shout “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!” at, for instance. Thankfully, I did not have to experience a lot of this when I did have full-time jobs, but just the thought of having to face them is intimidating.
Having said that, I should point out that winning battles as a one-(wo)man army is tough. Even as a freelance writer, I still need help from people. When such situations arise, I outsource marketing and admin work to virtual assistants.
I get bored and complacent very easily
I’ve always been blessed with a rather comfortable life. Over time, I have realised that this is not necessarily good for me. It makes me lazy. Plus, I get bored easily. Mundane tasks as a dead-end 9-to-5 isn’t my thing.
So how do I kill these two birds with one stone? By becoming a freelance writer where I would have no choice but to toil to make ends meet. I can also choose which topics and clients I want to work on, taking in new projects and trying out new niches from time to time to avoid getting sucked into boredom.
I don’t know where I want to live
I’m in my late 20s as I write this and I still haven’t found that one city that I love to bits and want to settle down in. I travel from here to there like a nomad. Being a freelancer helps with this, for as long as I have decent internet connection, I can still work from wherever I am. I’m location independent.
If you’re not comfortable working in a cubicle, test out to see if the couch is more suitable for you. I do like the pressure at work, deadlines looming and the fear of reporting to someone else from time to time, which is why I balance my writing career with some projects that have more stringent deadlines and critical-thinking tasks.
Find your balance. Freelancing may not necessarily be the thing for you. You may prefer to choose to work for a magazine, newspaper, or even a creative agency on a full-time basis. Test out your waters and swim away when you figure out what’s comfortable for you.
All the best!