Do You REALLY Want to Be a Freelance Writer?

A lot of people say, ‘Oh I could never do that’ when I tell them what I do. What they really mean is, ‘I would never want to do that.’ Sure, they like the idea of it: being free to choose how they spend their time, where they spend it and when. The obvious appeal of not being told what to do any more. Stuff like that.

But do they really want the lifestyle, and everything else that comes with it? Things like:

  • Forcing themselves to do work when nobody’s breathing down their neck. When they don’t really have to do it.
  • Having their fingers in ALL the pies. Being in charge of making sure everything gets done.
  • Not leaving their work behind when they walk out the door. Thinking about their work ALWAYS.

I’ve talked before about how this lifestyle isn’t perfect.

But here’s the thing: if you WANT to do it, you can. That’s pretty much the only criteria for this. You don’t need qualifications, you don’t need permission, you don’t need a huge amount of savings in the bank.

You just have to want it enough. You have to be willing to make certain sacrifices, and to work hard to get where you want to be.

Looking back, I never thought I would be the kinda gal who could run her own business.

At school, I always turned my homework in late (if I did so at all) full of bullshit excuses. I took pride in being late. I thought it made me look cool, but mostly I just didn’t give a shit. I never revised for anything, not a single test. I once wrote an essay about Brazil during an exam, despite the fact that we’d been asked to write about somewhere in Europe. TRUE STORY. And spontaneity has been my downfall on many an occasion. Ask me to hang out when I’ve got shit to do? I’m THERE.

So no, nobody ever looked at me and said, ‘Now there’s a girl who’s going to run her own business one day.’ I didn’t even think it of myself.

But things changed over time. When I realised that ‘I’ll start my career just as soon as I’ve been to Alaska’ was a lie. And that I was never going to be okay with being told what to do. Or with being tied down to one location.

As soon as I figured out I could bypass all that by starting an online business, I was on it. I knew I was willing to make sacrifices to make this happen. It was an easy decision. Easy.

Not easy to meet rush deadlines without breaking a sweat, or easy to sit down and actually do the work every day. Not easy to find clients or say something worth saying. Or to figure out taxes or bookkeeping or invoicing. It wasn’t easy to get started. It took me ten months from inception to execution.

But it became easy to deal with all the shit that came my way. Because actually doing what you want to do, and living the life you want to lead – that is easy.

So don’t ask yourself if you’re good enough to do this. (You are.) Don’t ask yourself if it’s really a ‘wise decision’. (You won’t know until you try.) Just ask yourself this: do you really want it?

If your answer’s yes, check out my course on how to become a freelance writer.