I’ve been away from my teaching job now for one summer and one semester! The fresh new year is cause for contemplation, so I’m thinking about regrets, joys, mistakes and successes. It’s been an interesting time so far, this sabbatical of sorts to be with my kiddos. Junior and Mini COD are our greatest blessings in this life. Sweet, exhausting, fun, frustrating…
Even though the ultimate reason I decided to stay home was to invest more fully in the boys, the secondary reason was equally exciting: my desire to delve into freelance work. Writing has been my passion, my dream, since I was a little kid. While I’m keeping a
pessimistic realistic view on freelance income and understand it may never replace my teaching salary, freelance writing is where I’ll focus my extra energy.
Here are some aspects of a freelance career I’ve been contemplating:
- Not being able to depend on a steady income month after month. Freelance writing would bring some months of decent earnings and plenty of lean months as well.
- Working hours can vary greatly for a freelancer. While that’s one of the biggest draws of the job, it would be an adjustment.
- Having to hustle for jobs is a hallmark of freelancing, right? Whatever the career field, a freelancer must have the drive to go after business. The “hustle” attitude doesn’t come naturally to me, so I need to work on that for sure! Researching the best websites and resources for finding potential clients, and mustering up the time and courage to pursue the work? Challenges, but I’m up for ’em!
Weeding Out The Legit Jobs From The Rest
- The online world is limitless, which makes hunting for potential clients and jobs both easier and incredibly daunting. Not all freelance job sites are created equal, so it’ll be frustrating trying to find people I can trust to hire me.
Lack of Human Interaction
- The life of a freelance writer or blogger can be extremely isolated, if you let it. As a natural introvert, I’ll have to be careful to make time for people. Freelance work can’t make me a hermit, glued to my computer.
FREELANCE POSITIVES (AKA why I want this)
Freedom to Be My Own Boss
In teaching, you pretty much teach what you’re assigned to teach. You get zero choice of which students or courses you teach. You do the extra (read: required) duties the boss tells you to. Coming from a teaching background, more autonomy at work sounds fantastic. I’d love to make the decision to write about topics that interest me. Proofreading would be amazing too, since I already do this in my mind every time I read anything!
Freedom of Schedule
This is a biggie, folks! Who wouldn’t like more freedom to design their own life, to schedule their work when they want to work and their personal stuff whenever they like? That’s one reason being a SAHM was appealing: I can be there for my kids when they need me. I don’t need to find a sub at work when they (or I) get sick. As a freelance writer, I could work whenever is most convenient for me.
With a move looming close on the horizon, the freedom to work remotely from home is exactly what I need right now. I’ve planned on three years at home with the boys, so I’m not expecting to return to teaching until 2019. It’s great that as Mr. COD applies for jobs, we don’t need to stress over jobs for me. Freelance writing is something I can do anywhere!
Working Within My Gifts
- I’m not saying I was an awful teacher, but writing and editing are much more natural to me, like breathing. Working longer hours would be less draining and stressful if I were operating within my best skill sets.
I’m thankful we paid off most of our debt last year so that I could become a SAHM. It’s freeing to know we don’t have to rely on my income to survive. Fortunately, Mr. COD supports my desire to be home with our kids while exploring more satisfying career paths! There’s always the option of returning to the classroom as well. Regardless of how successful my freelance journey may be, I know I’ll keep writing, because it’s what I love. It’s my passion. Stay tuned for more on my freelance failures and (I hope) successes!
When have you taken a chance on a new venture? Did you ever regret changing your default in that case? Any recommendations for me as I embark on my own freelance writing journey? As my three-year-old would say, please tell me in the comments!
(In case you’re wondering why he says that, he’s a fan of those weird YouTube videos of people describing toys as they open them up. He does a pretty good impression now!)