Despite the promises to bring back more traditional kinds of jobs, like those in manufacturing, many economists agree that the way forward is the gig economy. In this changing economy, more and more people are working contract, freelance, and have multiple jobs instead of just one.
All three of us here at TSU have moved out of traditional nine to five jobs and have gotten entrepreneurial, whether DeDe’s vintage business or Juliette’s surface design business along with both their consulting businesses.
I have embarked on the path I’ve been wanting since college: freelance writing.
I’ve been full time freelancing since November and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made and also a major adjustment. In honor of National Freelance Writer Appreciation Week, a few things that you may not appreciate about a freelance writer:
Ritual is important.
When structure is what you make it, rituals can become essential to feeling at your most productive. No, I can’t use just any notebook for my mind mapping, it needs to be the green one. And I definitely can’t use just any pen, it needs to be the Pilot G2 0.38. And I can work at the library but only on the 9th floor. And if I haven’t gotten to my favorite cafe by noon, forget it, I’ll go to my second favorite cafe because it won’t be nearly as overrun with students. Now, we can get to work.
Actually, yes, I am working.
“I figured I’d call, since you’re not working.” “Could you handle that, since you’re not working?” “So, what did you even do today?” Well, actually friend and/or family member, I was working today as I do in some form everyday. Admittedly, freelance writing may not always look like work, mind mapping can look like doodling, but whether I’m generating ideas, reading the kind of articles that are up on a site I want to pitch, or even reading through the Twitter feed of an editor to get a sense of what might interest them, it’s all work.
We’re all cannibals.
One of my favorite freelance writers, the dearly departed and deeply missed, Nora Ephron called writers cannibals in the documentary Everything Is Copy (go, watch, enjoy). She couldn’t be more right. If you tell me a story, it might end up in a article. If you make an observation, it might send my mind off in a direction that will give me a series of ideas to pitch. Call it inspiration or call it dinner, but just know a freelance writer is probably making mental notes during your conversations. Get comfortable with it. We mean no harm.
So, if you know a freelance writer send them an encouraging text this week. Ooh and maybe a pack of pens!