The freelance life is one that seems envious.
In fact, I envied it so much during times I was working fulltime in an office, that I made it my mission to one day be able to do it fulltime. Now that I have reached that point, I can tell you it comes with many downfalls (lack of benefits, lack of reliable income, trying to get paid on time, saving for tax time, needing finance and business skills you never learned at your Arts College), but it also comes with many perks.
Being able to work wherever you want – whenever you want – is the part that immediately appealed to me most. Being chained to a desk or an office for 8+ hours a day is not, and has never been, an enjoyable concept to me. No matter how many times I’ve tried to do it.
I like being able to wake up at 11am, stay pantsless til 2pm, grab a coffee and lunch by 2:30, and stay up til 3 or 4am on a weeknight. I like not having to worry about having an office wardrobe.
In the words of Bukowski:
How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?
That perfectly summarizes my feelings on that whole archaic idea of what work should look like.
If you are similarly inclined to have control over your day, keep your own schedule, and answer only to yourself, you might be the kind of person who prefers freelancing to a regular job.
Being a night owl and an introvert, it definitely suits my natural habits much more than the forced fake smiles and douchey coworkers you sometimes have to deal with in the confines of working for someone else.
In order to freelance successfully, you do need a few tools.
I am nothing without my Samsung Galaxy S5. I have an external battery case for it so it never dies. I am perpetually checking email and tweeting no matter where I am or what time of day it is.
A fast, reliable internet connection. Unless you want to only work at cafe’s and libraries, you’ll want a good strong internet connection at home because most freelance jobs require a ton of online time.
A comfortable workspace. That might be Starbucks or the library, but I generally prefer the comfort of my bed, my couch, or my little office area in my room. Surround this space with things that inspire you to work. I have a poster from Copyblogger about writing all day every day printed out above m desk, as well as a Tim Gunn talking bobble head that spits out his best motivating quotes with the push of a button. It’s sometimes all I need to get writing.
Coffee. Or caffeine in some form you enjoy it. Green tea. Chocolate. Coke. Green juice if you’re a health nut. Whatever works for you to keep you alert and get your day going.
Most importantly though, is a computer. Many are MAC loyal but for freelance writers, paying that much is outrageous. Unless you’re willing to live with your parents all through your 20s – it’s not happening. And that’s okay because a writer won’t be editing videos or doing anything a MAC is famous for.
My 17″ Samsung laptop is my main writing and working tool when at home, but when I am out and about – back home, at my boyfriends house, at a client’s office, at Starbucks – I am always with my ASUS Transformer tablet.
As I’ve mentioned before, it has become my right hand when I’m not home, and I am infinitely more productive (and less cranky, because it’s not heavy) with it in my life. A tablet you can type comfortably on is one of the most helpful tools of freelance life, if you ask me (she says as she writes this post on her ASUS at a Starbucks).
I’m required to disclose the relationship between my site and Intel Canada, but all opinions stated above are my own!