I’ve spent a good chunk of this week trying to disentangle the mysteries of the freelancing jungle. And let me tell you, the information available on the interweb is vast. I have nothing to add but my own perspective.
I’m coming from the incredibly naive position that I wish to make a living writing. It’s all I’ve ever wanted, come to think of it. However, I’ve taken my sweet time to actually make it to this point.
I’ve heard much about how brave I am to travel around the world by myself; to uproot myself over and over again and move countries, even continents. But that has become second nature to me and I don’t find it overly difficult. Though, mind you, it is certainly not an easy thing to do.
Leaving whatever home you made and all those friends, or family, behind is getting harder every time you do it. But that’s not the point right now.
For the very first time I’ve decided to strike out on my own professionally. Again, I was probably quite naive about it, because I had hardly a concept of what that actually meant.
But help is available, if you’re ready to ask for it.
I have come to the realization that freelancing is a pretty daunting thing to do and being self-employed puts every aspect of getting work, getting paid, making a living and ultimately also paying taxes on my shoulders.
It doesn’t matter, where I live in the world, all of the above is required for me to continue to live wherever it is I chose to. And when you really think about it and get acquainted with all the detail involved and the amount of dedication required, I feel a little bit overwhelmed.
Luckily not enough to be deterred.
Securing my first freelance job and receiving my first payment, will feel as if I’m making money for the very first time in my life.
Until now my work was always just given to me. I was hired by a company, was assigned a position, trained for the tasks at hand and then left to do the best job I was capable of, being reviewed more or less regularly depending on the company environment I found myself in.
Now I have to go and do all that myself, without guidance. I go after the jobs that I want, sell my skills by way of marketing myself, make agreements, sign contracts, draw up invoices, get paid, and make sure to leave some money on the side to pay my taxes.
And I will write. Every day is going to be spend writing something, honing my skills, getting more jobs, making the life that I want to live.
Of course, I also still want to write my own stuff. Write short stories, finish my novels, hopefully publish them in one way or another one day. But realistically speaking, if I want to make a living writing now, I cannot sit on the sofa all day simply writing my own stuff, because no one is paying me at this point in time to do so.
I may very well embark on the most difficult journey yet. Travelling down to Patagonia in a few weeks time will be nothing compared to this.
And you know what? I’m ready. I want this more than anything else and by going after it, I also go after everything else I want: a home (which will be a houseboat), my dream of writing a novel and getting published, continued travelling.