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Tag Archives: writing

The Necessary Tools of Freelance Life

freelance life

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!


 Lisa

Today’s Quote – Nora

nora_ephron

Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there.

Lisa

Giveaway – See Lena Dunham at JFL42

Lena Dunham JFL42

By now you all definitely know I am obsessed with Lena Dunham – she is younger than me and she’s already achieved every dream I’ve ever had for my life. I adore her talent, her persistence, her self confidence, the hard work she put in to get where she is, and the way she is changing the worlds perception of what beauty is.

Her first book, a collection of essays titled Not That Kind Of Girl comes out September 30th, and to promote it she’s going on a book tour.

Her Toronto stop will coincide with the upcoming, highly recommended, hilarious comedy festival JFL42.

On September 20th at the Sony Centre she will be interviewed by Jian Ghomeshi, give a reading from the book, and open it up for what is likely to be a fascinating audience Q&A. I am BEYOND excited for this.

Lucky for you, if you want to be there too, you can enter to win one of five pairs of passes to see her courtesy of my friends at JFL42. Follow them on Twitter @JFL42 and find them on Facebook as well.

To win, you must be a subscriber to the weekly post recap newsletter. If you are already a subscriber, just leave a comment below using the email you used to subscribe, so I know you want your name thrown in the hat.

If you’re new, just enter your email into the form below and after you hit the confirmation email you will be entered.

Subscribe here to enter the giveaway:


If you want a bonus entry, Facebook fans can, as usual, like/comment or share my page’s status about this giveaway on Facebook.

Followers can retweet my tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.

And Insta followers can like my photo on Instagram about this giveaway once it’s posted.

You have until September 16th at midnight to enter – winners will be contacted via the email they used to subscribe the next day.

 

Lisa

Life With My Intel Asus Tablet

intel asus tablet unboxed

Back in July I was approached by Intel to be an Intel Insider. What that means is, they give me a pretty great Asus tablet that runs via Intel, and I keep the world updated with my thoughts on it.

Just before I was approached, I had been dragging my 17 inch laptop around to various editorial meetings around the city (joys of freelance life), and was getting incredibly frustrated with how bulky and heavy it was. As much as I prefer the 17 inch screen for my Netflix habit, I needed something small that wouldn’t require a backpack just to take anywhere. So when I got the email asking if I wanted to take part, it was kismet.

The best part about the tablet is that it isn’t really a tablet. I had a tablet a while back and got rid of it because I have a Samsung Galaxy 5 that has a screen big enough for my couch surfing needs. When I’m using a decent sized screen, I like to have the ability to type. So a tablet that functions as a computer is a must for me.

I had recently been a part of a program promoting Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 during their pop up shop at NXNE (but sadly Microsoft did not give me one to try out), so I knew this kind of tablet would work for me. But the Surface is more than double the price of this one, and it works just the same. Save your cash, people!

The thing I love most about it is that it fits in my purse. It’s as light as a book. No more shoulder and back pain when going to meetings!

When it comes to getting work done – the beautiful thing is that it syncs right up with my 17 inch laptop – so it looks and functions just the same. This is one benefit to the dreaded Windows 8.

It comes with Microsoft Office so I can do all my writing on it with relative ease. When I’m home I still prefer to use my big laptop because typing does get a little harder on the small keyboard, but if you’re just using it to send tweets and do research, it definitely won’t slow you down.

The option of using it with or without the keyboard is also helpful for those times when you do just want to get on Instagram and scroll through image after image on a larger screen.

For travel purposes it is also a blessing. Going back home to visit my parents used to be a pain in the ass because I’d dread dragging my laptop back and forth on the damn Megabus. Now it’s no biggie. It takes up almost no space in a suitcase and I can always put it in my purse if I wanna use it on the trip.

The battery lasts all day. You can plug it into a printer. You can upload photos. You can get on Skype. Basically it’s a fully functioning laptop that can also be used as a tablet.

The only downside I’ve found is that, at just 32 GB of storage (most of which is taken up by everything it comes with installed) it runs out of memory real fast. But, because it has expandable memory with a microSD slot, that’s an easy one to fix.

Overall, I’m relieved to have it in my life, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get a tablet.

I’m required to disclose the relationship between my site and Intel Canada. While this item was gifted to me for review, all opinions are my own. 

Lisa

Today’s Quote – What Writing Does

margueriteduras

When it’s in a book I don’t think it’ll hurt anymore… exist anymore. One of the things writing does is wipe things out.

Replace them.

Lisa