May 27

Are you cut out for this?

tall blog pic
 
Picture this Hooky Player at an awkward social event making awkward conversation with an awkward stranger.
 
“Me? I’m a freelance writer,” I say. 
 
“You work at home?” asks Awkward Stranger, as if I told him I juggle machetes in urinals. “I could never do that.”

 

It’s a conversation I have a lot. Strangers can’t believe it’s possible to work at home without becoming a TV-addicted housecoat-wearing sloth whose best friends are the women of The View.

What I really want to say to them is this: Working at home is the least of it. Freelancing is much more than getting out of your jim-jams, showering and sitting at your computer by 9am (but that helps!). Freelancing is seeking out clients, keeping clients happy, managing finances, schmoozing, cold calling, panicking when there’s no work, panicking when there’s too much work and being on your game every godforsaken day you work.

As Dawn, my bff (best freelancer friend), wrote me last week in one of our many cathartic exchanges: freelancing is not for wusses. True. But still, not much can compare to the gratification of living by your wits.

Are you cut out for it? Read on to learn whether this life of perpetual angst is right for you: Continue reading

May 7

Want to make good money? Don’t get paid in promises.

 

lori2In the dark ages, when I was growing up, it was not uncommon to hear the expression, “Why buy the cow when you can milk it through the fence?” It was used as a stern warning to young women that premarital sex might lead to (gasp!) spinsterhood.

I know, right? As a perspective on female sexuality, the cow metaphor is pretty degrading. In the world of freelance, however, I consider it gospel.

What I mean is this: if you don’t respect your work – if you give it away too cheaply, or worse, for free – you’ll have difficulty establishing long-term client relationships. And it’s especially true if you’re just starting out and trying to establish a reputation. Continue reading