Do you want to become a freelance writer?
Almost everyone who works for a living wants to be their own boss. As a freelance writer, that’s exactly what you can do.
While what you write and how you do it are often dictated by those who “commission” your work, they are best viewed as customers who need support throughout the project.
By selling stories or choosing assignments, you can decide what kind of work you do, what days and hours you work, and where you work. However, with such responsibilities on your shoulders, you quickly learn that being your own boss is one of the most difficult skills to master.
The biggest opponent of a freelance writer is procrastination. The reason for this is a lack of motivation, routine and discipline. If you fall into this trap, the most important thing is to show up for work regularly so that everything is in its place and the rest takes care of itself.
The “benefits” of working for yourself as a freelance writer
1. As long as you meet the deadlines set by the client, you are free to work at your preferred time – morning, afternoon or evening.
2. For example, if you have a permanent contract and are only allowed to work two days a week, then freelance writing could be a perfect fit for your lifestyle.
3. This is an ideal career for those with young children who want to avoid travel time and childcare costs by working from home.
4. As a freelance writer, you can run your own “show”. You’re basically a subcontractor for a fee, so you don’t have to deal with the office politics that are so common in a competitive work environment.
The “Disadvantages” of Working for Yourself as a Freelance Writer
The flip side of not having a full-time paid job is that you won’t get sick pay, paid vacations, shift leave, vacations, travel allowances or pension, unless of course you arrange it yourself.
With this in mind, there are certain risks and drawbacks that you should be aware of as a freelance writer, especially if it is your only source of income:
1. If you are ill or seriously injured and unable to work, you will not receive any income during your recovery.
2. For example, if you want to go on vacation for two weeks, you will earn nothing for those two weeks.
3. After returning from vacation, it can take another two weeks to write an article and get paid. This means that you must have no income for a maximum period of four weeks.
4. If you incur any costs while writing the story, those costs must be paid directly out of your pocket. Depending on the circumstances, you may or may not be able to request a refund of these costs.
5. You must arrange your regular pension and payroll tax payments yourself (depending on your circumstances).
6. You may also have to pay other business related taxes, so you will need to seek advice from an accountant.
The decision is yours and should be based on your personal best choice. No two situations are the same, so it’s important to consider all the pros and cons before making any drastic decisions. One thing is for sure, working for yourself from home allows you to spend more time with your family, which is a nice added benefit to keep in mind.
Fraser is a freelance journalist, writer and CEO of Pro-Content Australia – a global provider of professional online and offline content writing services.