One of the big pieces of advice other people in my field have is to know why you are freelancing instead of anything else. That way, you have something to hang onto when the days get long and all you want to do it give up.
Well here’s mine.
And I don’t mean sick in the slang way. Nor do I mean it in the way that most people get a cold and take a few days to recover from it.
I’m chronically unwell. I have seven chronic conditions, two of which are auto-immune conditions, that currently have no cure.
Now before you panic, none of them are life threatening. They just make everyday life somewhat difficult. I’m working to manage them and live with them the best I can. But some days I can barely get out of bed because of the pain and fatigue that comes with these illnesses. Or I spend most of the day in the bathroom.
Even though some days I want to, I can’t work a real job. Most employers don’t take well to their employees calling in the morning of their shift more than once every few months. With my conditions, it can be as often as a few days a week.
I’ve tried working a “real job”. I didn’t last more than three weeks before my employer told me that it wouldn’t work out. No one wants to hire an unreliable sick person, especially in corporate America where time is money.
But I still need to make a living. My student loans need to be paid and the medical bills don’t really stop. Most months they aren’t bad, but every once in a while I get a pretty major one and am taken aback.
So I work from home as a web content writer. I find businesses and websites that have writing needs and offer them my services. In a day and age where everything is going online, there is a great need for written content that stands out from the sea of information. My skills are in high demand.
I am so blessed to have a husband that supports and cares for me. He works full-time as tech support for an online university. If not for my conditions, we could live off of what he makes at that job. But because he works full-time, I don’t have to worry about how we will eat if I don’t get enough work, for the month. I can be picky and make sure that I work with only the best clients instead of needing to work with the ones that will only pay peanuts.
On top of all of this, my husband and I adopted a dog three months ago. Her name is Luna and she is one of the sweetest, most intelligent animals I’ve ever met. She learns quickly and she always finds a way to cheer me up when I’m feeling down. She sometimes even lays on my feet while I’m working.
Now, usually when this comes up in conversation, people will ask things like “Do you actually get paid?” or “When are you going to get a real job?” I would like to point those people to several income reports of freelancers that have been doing this for at least six months (the ones making six figures have been doing this for years and rely on product sales on top of their writing clients for their income).
I’d like to see how many people make that kind of money at a “real job”.
Freelance writing lets me bring in a decent income and work around my illnesses. I can lay on my couch in my pajamas with a heating pad on my stomach and a fan in my face and, so long as I have my laptop, I can still work.
Despite my conditions, I get my clients’ work done. Right now, I have four regular clients and am in talks with two more. I focus on web content because that’s what I know and love. It’s also one of the fastest growing industries in the world, so I’m sure to have more work than I could physically handle.
Long story short, these two are my why. I write and I pitch and I go out of my comfort zone so that at the end of the day, I know that their needs (and often times wants) are met.
(If you know of someone who could use my services, let’s talk!)