Is the Freelance Life for You? (Hint: Ask yourself these 2 Questions)

Last Updated on: January 26th, 2021


Is the freelance life for you?

If you are unsure of whether or not the freelance life is for you, you should ask yourself these 2 questions, analyze your answers, and then decide. You may be surprised at your responses!

The 2 Questions to Ask Yourself to Know if the Freelance Life is Right For YOU

The questions you should be asking yourself are:

  1. Why do I want to freelance?
  2. How much time can I devote to freelancing?

Potential Answers to Freelance Life Question 1

Your answers to the question “Why do I want to freelance?” may include:

  • I want to have flexibility and freedom.
  • I want to earn money whenever I need it.
  • I want to be my own boss.

The problems with these answers is that, while simplistic on the surface, they are not clearly defined. You may actually be disappointed with the freelance lifestyle if you think that you can simply do whatever you want, whenever you want!

Analysis of Answers to Freelance Life Question 1

If you want to have flexibility and freedom as a freelancer, you must realize that you still have to put in the hours and work.

The thing most people fail to realize is that being a freelancer is actually work. Do not get it in your head that you can earn money for doing nothing. You can’t. However, what you can do is choose to work during hours that are non-conventional, like during the middle of the night, perhaps, if that is when you work best. (I know that I like working when it is quiet and there are not too many outside noises – like traffic – to distract me.)

Another thing you must realize is that you cannot simply earn money whenever you feel like it. You have to be willing to take the jobs that are available when they are available!

If you constantly turn down work because you don’t feel like working at that particular time, then you may not get asked to work again by that client. You will have built up a negative reputation for yourself, and branded yourself as someone who is unreliable. No one wants to work with an unreliable client!

Picking and choosing work may be an option for a freelancer who has built up a clientele and a positive name for him/herself, but it takes a while to get to that point. For freelancers who are just starting out, these things need to be considered.

Being your own boss entails having writing discipline, keeping your own books (records), and demonstrating professionalism in all facets of your freelance life.

Responsibilities abound when you run your own business. Maintaining your website, connecting with the right people, and writing (or editing, or marketing, or whatever you happen to be doing) all take time. Of course, you can outsource some of your technological maintenance tasks to others (if you can afford it), but for the newbie freelancer, often the burden of these tasks are yours and yours alone.

Running a freelance business is a job in itself! Not everyone can handle these responsibilities.

Can you?

Potential Answers to Freelance Life Question 2

Your answers to the question “How much time do you want to devote to freelancing?” may include:

  • Two days per week.
  • Three days per week.
  • I want to work full-time at freelancing!

Analysis of Answers to Freelance Life Question 2

How much time you can devote to freelancing is going to be an individual preference. However, if you want to earn money, you have to spend time looking for gigs, networking, and doing the actual work for your clients! This takes time, so if you are looking for an “easy” job, the freelance life may not be for you, but if you are willing to put forth the effort, you will be rewarded with success!

A Final Word on the Freelance Life

The freelance life is not always roses or peaches-and-cream, like many believe it is. It involves a lot of work, so if you are not prepared to do this work, the freelance life may not be for you!

Freelance Writing Resources

If you want some truly excellent resources to refer to, I would highly suggest starting with these posts:

How Starting a Freelance Writing Career Changed My Life by Harleena Singh

The New Freelance Writer’s Quick-and-Simple Guide to Getting Started by Carol Tice

I’d also suggest picking up a free copy of Sophie Lizard’s guide, after reading Get The Be a Freelance Blogger Rate Guide and Find Out How Much Other Bloggers Charge.

The article, Warm Applause for Writers Who Give Generously, by Tom Bentley, lists many writers and freelancers whose blogs you should read. It lists more of the people in the writing field whom I have learned from, too.

Is the freelance life for you?

Is the freelance life for you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

photo credit: exfordy via photopin cc

12 thoughts on “Is the Freelance Life for You? (Hint: Ask yourself these 2 Questions)

  1. Becc says

    I don’t believe the freelance life is for me. There are still deadlines and when you can’t be sure of whether you will be well enough to deliver, then you can’t be very reliable. It’s a dilemma I have with any type of ‘job’.
    Becc recently posted…Feeling all Zen

  2. Hi Lorraine; I know enough free lance writers and enough online business owners that my first thought was I don’t know any of them who spend a lot of time relaxing by the pool. smile They may b at the pool for a seminar or networking event. But usually if you see one hanging out at a spa they will still b working away on their laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Thanks for sharing. Potential new free lancers will benefit greatly from your experience and the links you shared. Take care, Max
    maxwell ivey recently posted…Wednesday night meet up recap April 2, 2014

  3. I think freelancing is anything but an easy ride. It is a lifestyle choice but it also brings with it some challenging realities. Are you ready to take responsibility for everything? No one will tell you to meet your deadlines or remind you about meetings. You have to be your own sales person and account manager. When the supplies run out in the middle of a critical job, you have get your act in gear and replace them. Many of the little things we take for granted in a typical nine to five environment are suddenly part of your responsibility. I think it takes real commitment, discipline and focus to take the freelance option.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Wanted: Communications Goddess

    • says

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Debra. There are numerous responsibilities when you are living the freelance dream! So many, in fact, that sometimes, it can become a nightmare!

      However, it is one job that you can do from home – and from anywhere in the world – if you have a good internet connection. 😉

  4. Hi Lorraine,

    Interesting topic of discussion 🙂

    I agree with all that you wrote – a freelancers life is NOT easy at all, something that most people think it to be. Though we have our own time to work, we still have deadlines to meet and that sometimes becomes tough to accomplish if you are also a blogger and a full time mom like me!

    Gosh! I catch up on a lot of things during the weekends, so there is hardly any break for me.

    Regarding the time one devotes to writing, I’d say I am forever writing! If not for my blog, or the comments, it’s the clients or their work. It just never stops. So, you can’t say I will write twice a week or work four days a week because freelancing projects can come up anytime and you need to do them, unless of course, you’ve set your own rules and follow them as some freelancers do.

    Thanks for sharing, and I appreciate the link-love too. Have a nice weekend 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…6 Time Saving Tips to Avoid Being Overworked [Infographic]

    • says

      Harleena, with all you do on your blog (and everyone else’s, answering comments), I am surprised you find the time to raise children AND write for others for pay. Geez. Do you ever sleep? 😉

      The reason I wrote this article is due to the fact that a handful of my readers want to know if they should break into freelancing. I wanted to let them know that the freelance life is not all it’s cracked up to be.

      What would you consider some of the perks of freelancing?

  5. says

    Going freelance few years ago is the best present i could have given myself, career-wise 😀

    There are many people who are ‘forced’ to become freelancers due to down economy and various other reasons… but those of us who willingly go that direction truly appreciate the freedom and flexibility you mention in this post, Lorraine.

    I know you are just starting with your freelancing efforts so i truly wish you a smooth sailing toward freelance success 😉
    Diana recently posted…Sending Email to Multiple People – BCC Email or Email Marketing Tool?

  6. Jo Ann Plante says

    I got sick and couldn’t work full time, so freelancing became a blessing for me. It is a lot of hard work and you have to make a constant effort, but it has its rewards and it’s better than living on welfare.

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