I’m embarrassed to say, that after two years, I’m still trying to figure out some important aspects of the freelance writing business. To my credit, I never thought that freelancing would be less work than a corporate job. Because assigning priorities; estimating how long individual tasks will take; and self-discipline are easier for me when I’m in a structured environment, I just assumed that being a freelancer would be hard work. But I also assumed that after a period of adjustment the process would become more organic and not such a struggle. However, that hasn’t happened.
It’s still a struggle. A big struggle. If I’m being absolutely honest with myself, my biggest stumbling block is self-discipline. Unless I have a very specific deadline, when I get up in the morning I fall into the bad habit of viewing the day’s scheduled activities as one big, negotiable menu (pick and choose as I see fit; leave stuff on the plate I don’t want to eat; and consume empty calories at will).
Another difficulty I’m experiencing as a freelance writer is while I’m landing work, it’s not consistently in my niche. I discovered, in my last corporate, full-time job, that I have a passion for writing about furniture. I can tell you why a certain type of armchair is referred to as a “wingback;” how many feet of personal space per person you should allow for when buying a dining room table; and the height of a dining chair, counter chair/stool and bar stool. When we were divvying up the furniture from my dad’s apartment, my sister bragged that she always wanted a china cabinet and now she did. I told her no, she didn’t own a china cabinet; it was actually a curio cabinet. (Yes, I know my furniture and I’m a snob about it!) But to date, I have yet to approach furniture companies and pitch them a comprehensive social media/blog plan.
The third main area I’m failing in as a freelancer is maneuvering my way around job bid sites. After all this time, I remain very intimidated by the process. Since much of freelancer’s work comes from these types of leads, I better get over it sooner rather than later. However, I just get so flustered “selling” my expertise (and by default, myself).
Although, in my defense, I am already being proactive about networking and targeting specific sectors that might be interested in the types of services I offer. Fingers crossed…