What Is It Like Being a Freelance Writer? 5 Things No One Told Me

Writer?

Freelancing sounds so dreamy, right?

You work from home, you take two-hour breaks in which you do nothing but drink tea and read graphic novels, and you can work at midnight if it suits you then sleep in until 10 a.m. the next morning (like I do that, pfff).

While I love my life as a freelancer, there are things to consider when thinking what is like being a freelance writer! Here are five things nobody warned me about when I started this business.

 

1. You get to have great relationships with your clients

For some reason, I had the impression that I would just send my work to people and that would be that.

But alas, no.

I’m part of conference calls and Skype sessions, even “interview” calls for people thinking of “hiring” me. I’m expected to be part of a team of people who make amazing content happen, including editors, other writers, website developers, and marketing people.

You have to actually build relationships with your clients, and this includes much more than just sending them good writing. What is it like being a freelance writer? Building great relationships with clients and being involved in their company, even though you’re just a freelancer.

 

2. The networking is awesome

I’m someone who generally doesn’t network, even if it would help me, simply because I’m not a people person and don’t really like putting myself out there like that.

But, when considering what is it like being a freelance writer, you have to reach out to people to get business as a writer. So I threw myself out there. I’m meeting all kinds of people who need all sorts of different things. I even meet people who need full-time copywriters.

I think about that for a second and I’m like, wow, I would have never heard about that job if I wasn’t doing this.

 

3. You’ll find out more about yourself

When I started freelancing, I wanted to be everything to everyone, and I wasn’t sure how to find my niche or even what my niche should be.

But as you grow and realize what is it like being a freelance writer, you understand more about the great experiences as a writer that help you refine your skills even more than they already are. It’s an exploration journey!

 

4. Working from home/anywhere you want is harder than you think

It’s great working from home, don’t get me wrong! It’s ever better when you can travel, but it’s harder than you think, people.

What is it like being a freelance writer? You have to be a self-starter. I’m a really disciplined person and great at managing tasks and making my own schedule, but this is hard. You need to be on the ball if you’re going to make this work!

When you’re at the office, there’s not much else to do besides officey-type things. When you’re at home or in a fun new city, there’s lots to do besides writing a blog. I can work from anywhere in the world, but it’s a distracting world out there, and I’m learning that my motivation and schedule need to be on track or I’m not getting any work done.

 

5. It’s more work

There were times when I was at my job in DC when I was bored or felt unchallenged. It was almost always easy for me to get all my work done while I was there. This is not the case with freelance writing. No one told me quite how much work this would be.

Making great writing isn’t easy, even for someone like me who’s been writing for a long time and majored in English at Penn State. What is it like being a freelancer writer? Working at this because every client (and every project) is different.

You’ve got to deliver based on their needs, and it’s YOUR job to find out what their needs are. When you’re not done everything you need to do by quitting time, no one else is going to do it on the next shift. It’s just you and you have to work, dammit!

While freelancing has been both easier and harder than I thought it would be, and for all different reasons, I love being able to do what I love. Being a freelancer writer is amazing. I’m always working on being a great writer for my clients and a master of scheduling at home. Never give up on what you truly want to do!

What Have I Accomplished in My Year After Graduating College?

The year after graduating college can be a daunting one. But I’m here to tell you why mine has been the most liberating ever!

accomplishment

Today has been a year since I graduated from Penn State. It seems nuts to me that it’s been a year, but at the same time, so much has happened.

So what have I accomplished in my year after graduating college?

Focused More on My Personal Growth Than My Professional

When I graduated, I felt like I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

I started my B.A when I was 18, and graduated when I was 23. I had spent years trying to get my degree, and now it was over.

What should I do?

I used the year after graduating college to focus much more on my personal self than on my professional one. After all, I’d finished my degree—now it was time to focus on me and my inner goddess.

Got a Full-Time Job—But Quit

So I had a full-time job before I even got my diploma in the mail.

After applying to job after job after job both right before and after I left Penn State, and going on only two interviews, I landed a job at a security firm as a tech writer close to DC. I was terrified that I wasn’t going to get a job but I did, and I was ecstatic to start.

I thought I wanted to do tech writing—turns out, it’s not really my cup of tea. I’m not embarrassed to tell you that I quit that job after only a few days because it went so badly.

I wasn’t happy, and happiness is a priority in my life, especially the year after graduating college.

Got a Part-Time Job

After I quit my first job, I felt lost and confused as to what I wanted.

I was still applying the year after graduating college but had less certainty and confidence as to what I wanted. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but if I couldn’t do tech writing, how could I find a legit writing job?

I applied to the women’s homeless shelter in DC and got the job. It was part-time, but exactly what I needed to figure out what I wanted to do while still making an income the year after graduating college.

Figured Out What I Truly Want To Do

I love my work in DC. It’s been so empowering and it has been a fabulous opportunity to grow and figure out what I want.

I learned that I want to help people and not just homeless people. I wanted to write, too. I just needed to confidence to actually figure out how to start my writing professionally.

Started My Own Business

So walaah! I started my own freelance writing business almost a year after graduating college. It’s going great and I love it, and it feels awesome to get paid doing what I love to do—writing!

Learned Where I Want to Live

Ian was interning in Asheville, North Carolina during the year after graduating college. I drove down there a couple times that summer and spent several weeks with him while I was unemployed (those weeks were some of the most healing of my life, it felt like).

I really loved Asheville and North Carolina. I hope to move there!

Stopped Being so Afraid of Life

When I graduated, I was terrified of so many things. I think more than all these things though, I was afraid of my ability to actually do something worthwhile that people would pay me for.

What would my life mean if I couldn’t do what I loved?

I was so scared of actually living my life and going for my dreams. After this past year after graduating college, I’m still a little scared, but not half as much as I was. And I gained more confidence, too.

Realized How My Misdiagnosis Has Impacted My Life

That crazy illness that I was diagnosed with almost 8 years ago is not the illness I have.

I do not have any illness; my body merely has an autoimmune response to a protein named gluten. I realized that my illness has both made me terrified and less confident.

I’m not sick, and I don’t have to be sick. I choose what’s best for my body. I live the way I want to live. Going through my illness has made me less likely to spend time on things that I don’t want to spend time on. I cherish my time now and what I do with it.

Our lives are so short, so do what makes you happy!

So my year after graduating college didn’t quite go like I thought—but it was a magical one and I’ve come so far personally and professionally!

Welcome to The Green Writing Desk!

Welcome to The Green Writing Desk!

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I hope to share with my lovely clients a bit about me through these entires and the things that are important to me. Natural health is my passion and focus at The Green Writing Desk.

I came to natural health eight years ago when I was sixteen—I was diagnosed with a “rare and incurable” autoimmune disease that put me in a wheelchair and on chemotherapy. Four years later at the age of 21, I was told by a doctor that I would be on chemo for the rest of my life. I then sought the help of a herbalist, who suggested that gluten was causing my illness. I went gluten-free and a week later all of my symptoms disappeared.

Cultivating knowledge of ourselves, our earth, and our bodies is vital to becoming well. Toxins, stress, sickness, and genetically engineered food and pharmaceutical drugs are not making us well. Through The Green Writing Desk, I hope to educate others about natural health while doing what I love—helping great businesses produce great content.

Writing has been a lifelong passion of mine and I was able to explore and refine that passion at Penn State University. I worked with some phenomenal teachers there to become the seasoned writer I am today. My writing experiences have been across all mediums including blog writing, technical writing, science/medical writing, creative writing, and more. Of course, all these categories are not mutually exclusive 🙂

Today, four years after finding out the truth about my illness, I remain drug-free and of course, still gluten-free. I feel amazing. My journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s certainly been worthwhile.

I hope you enjoy this blog as an extended part of The Green Writing Desk and what it has to offer. I look forward to working with you and your business to create amazing content.

Thanks for visiting!