Thursday, November 20, 2008

'Cause I'm free! ... freelancing

I've been doing the freelance thing for just about two months now and because some people have asked, here's how it's going: Pretty well. Thanks mostly to two big assignments, I'll be able to replace all of the income I would have earned at my job in the last quarter of the year.

When I had my job, I worked at home, but during scheduled hours. My boss was wonderfully flexible, but I still felt guilty if I ran to the grocery store after dropping off the kids and got home late, or spent too much time cycling laundry during the work day. Now I can do that without flinching, plus take a yoga class in the mornings, do my 15-minute school volunteer job twice a week instead of once, and so on.

Still, I am ever conscious of the not-working time. Turns out that in order to be a successful freelancer, you better be really self-motivated. (Imagine that!) I always thought I was--I was never the kid who pulled all-nighters or did her homework on the bus--but man, pushing myself to put in the time can be hard. Especially when one of my jobs has no deadlines or specific assignments. I also stink at self-marketing (hi, I own myname.com and do you think there is anything there? no) and strategic planning. I have no idea where I'm going with this or how or when.

Jo has recently come to appreciate at least some aspects of my work, however. "So people send you stuff. And you write about it. That's a good job." It is. Not as excellent as jellybean caretaker, but it pays the bills.

10 comments:

Lady M said...

Glad that it's going well. I used to be so incredibly disciplined, but that has gone by the wayside, along with sleep.

It's cool to hear Jo understanding what you do (or at least part of it). I think that Q-ster just thinks I talk on the phone for work.

Heather said...

That IS pretty cool.

Suzanne said...

Yes to all of that -- I have plans to get my own website, vague ideas about how to drum up new clients, but it's al nebulous. Right now I'm just waiting for both kids to be in school all day (still almost 2 years away!) before I ramp things up. Till then, I'm kind of winging it.

I'm glad it's all going well for you!

Patois said...

Nearly as good as jellybean counter.

JGH said...

My husband is a freelancer. I think because he's not sure when his next job will come, he sometimes takes EVERY job that is offered and ends up overworked. Then the dry spells make him anxious - it's like a rollercoaster. Sounds like you are getting the hang of the ride.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I keep having fantasies of quitting my day job and freelancing until I realize when I do occasional freelance work that it's not exactly easy!

Kate said...

I'm so jealous! It IS cool. Glad to hear it is going "pretty well". Cheers to it going "very well" soon.

Christina said...

I agree about the discipline. Freelancing is really hard work when you have no outside motivation to do it.

Glad things are going well for you. And yeah, getting the free stuff is so cool - many of my friends are amazed at how much free stuff I get to review.

mothergoosemouse said...

It's the strategic stuff I struggle with. I can tick stuff off the to-do list without a problem, but the long-range conceptualizing is hard to wrap my brain around while working from home. Because there are piles of laundry and unwashed dishes that need my attention too.

Magpie said...

Good to hear that it's going well.