Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Freelancing: Busting Myths!

I decided to chuck my steady but highly unsatisfying full-time job for a chance to take a shot at freelance writing. It has always been something I have been meaning to do, and I chose to take the plunge during these highly unpredictable times of the recession, economic uncertainty yadda yadda yadda... you get the drift.

I suppose some people shake their heads in disbelief and call it madness. I can't care two hoots for their (freely doled out in liberal portions) opinions. I like what I am doing now.

What I do not like is that fact that people think "freelancing" essentially makes you "free"! So apparently I am free to run errands any time of day, free to supervise the electrician's work in the house at any time, free to up and leave the city on a holiday or attend a stranger's wedding any day.... The list goes on and grows by the day, and frankly, I am fed up! As some lousy recruitment agent put it (in a pathetic attempt to lure me into a job I didn't care for): I am "not working".

Really now? So how would you explain the invoices that I send out and the dollars that are now going into my bank account? American charity toward an "unemployed" Indian brown skin?

I do not have a boss waiting for me to "swipe in" each morning or monitoring my productivity - it's now a whole lot of self regulation, and I ensure I get up at a decent hour and get cracking on work. Believe it or not, we freelancers have such tight deadlines, it is not funny! I had more time to chat online, surf websites and try personality tests online while I had a "real job". Ever since I began freelancing, I do not surf for entertainment until my work for the day is done.

Freelancers do not have set working hours. I cannot call in sick and take a day off on a whim. I do not get a holiday, whether it is for an American holiday or an Indian one. If I do take a day off, I will not get paid for that day simply because we freelancers are not entitled to a set amount of earned "leave" as full-timers are. It just makes me think 10 times over before I decide to send advance notice that I need time off.

No coffee breaks, lunch breaks, office gossip or anything else that constituted a fun day at work. Of course, there are breaks for a now constantly ringing doorbell as everyone seems to have figured out that I will always be at home to cater to their whims. I now work at one long stretch and take a break only when I am actually done for the day.

Contrary to popular belief, freelance content writers do not just sit around everyday, staring into space and swishing a pen around in the air, inadvertently stabbing unsuspecting flies in the genitals.

Yes, I work from home and I am a freelancer. But I do believe that the operative words there are NOT "free" and "home". The words are "work" and "lance" - something I would gladly drive through the skull of the next person who says, "you are free"!


Breaking My Silence

I haven't posted here in a really long while. Not that I thought anybody would really miss me, but all the same I would have you know that my lack of blogging activity actually inspired a certain someone to put up not one, but TWO blogs of their own because they were so bored of seeing my non-active blog! How is that for passive persuasion?!