Thinking Of Becoming A Freelance Writer?
Almost everyone who works for a living would like to be his or her own boss. As a freelance writer, this is exactly what you can be.
Even though what you write and how you do it will often be dictated by those who “commission” your work, they are best thought of as clients who need to be kept on side throughout the project.
Pitching stories or picking and choosing assignments allows you to decide what sort of work you do, which days and hours you work, and where you work. However, with such responsibility you will soon learn that being your own boss is one of the hardest skills to master.
A freelance writer’s greatest adversary is procrastination. What causes it is a lack of motivation, routine and discipline. The most important thing to do if you fall into this trap is just “show up” for work on a regular basis so everything is in place for the rest to flow naturally.
The “Pros” of Working for Yourself As A Freelance Writer
1. As long as you meet the deadlines set by your clients, you are free to work the hours you like – morning, noon or night.
2. If you have ongoing commitments that only allow you to work two days a week, for instance, freelance writing could fit your lifestyle perfectly.
3. It’s an ideal occupation for individuals with young children who want to avoid travel time and child-care expenses by working from home.
4. As a freelance writer is that you get to run your own “show”. You are effectively a sub-contractor providing your services for a fee, so you don’t have to deal with the office politics that are so prevalent in competitive workplaces.
The “Cons” of Working for Yourself As A Freelance Writer
The downside of not having a full-time job paying a salary is that you don’t receive sickness benefits, paid holidays, rostered days off, leave loading, travel allowances or superannuation payments, unless of course you organise them yourself.
In light of this, there are certain risks and disadvantages you should be aware of as a freelance writer, particularly if it is to be your sole source of income:
1. If you are sick or badly injured and can’t work, you will not receive any income for the time it takes you to recover.
2. If you want to go on holiday for two weeks, for example, you won’t earn anything in those two weeks.
3. When you return from holiday, it may take another two weeks to write and be paid for a story. That means you would have to plan for an income free period of up to four weeks.
4. If you incur expenses in the course of writing a story, they will have to come straight out of your pocket. You may or may not be able to claim these expenses back depending on the circumstances.
5. You will have to arrange to make your own regular superannuation payments and PAYG tax installments (depending on your circumstances).
6. You may have other business related taxes to pay also so you will need to seek advice from an Accountant.
The decision is yours and has to be based on what will be the best option for you individually. No two situations are the same so it’s important to look at all the pros and cons before making any drastic decisions. One thing’s for sure though, working for yourself, from home will ensure more time with your family and that is a wonderful side benefit that you should consider.