My web buddy, fellow blogger and freelance writer Deb Ng tweaks my nose a bit in her post Is Freelance Writing Only a Work From Home Job? (How did she know I used to have slippers just like those? She’s magic is the only answer I can come up with.)
She and I both post jobs for freelance writers, but we have a difference. I try to post only jobs that can be done, as I usually say, at home in your pjs. Deb posts a wider variety of writing jobs, including some you can do from home, some that are temporary gigs in offices and some that are more or less as permanent as any job gets these days.
Deb also quotes a dictionary definition of freelance which includes, as she points out, writers and creative types who work in other places than at home. She fondly remembers a full time job where some freelancers came to the office for short, temporary stints.
It’s My Definition, Darn It
Okay, the term does have, officially, a wider definition than I give it. But not my freelancing. Sure I’ll meet with clients at their offices, or mine, or at the beach or in a restaurant. Yes, I occasionally travel for clients. And yes, I clean up nicely; I can costume for any occasion.
But I don’t want to get dressed in business clothes more than once and awhile, certainly not five days in a row! I don’t want to be told I can’t wear open toed shoes to an office (yes, that happened to me once in a non-writing, regular job I held briefly, and they tried to convince me it was for safety while we made phone calls!)
I also don’t want to fight traffic or sit in traffic or feel overwhelmed by traffic.
To me the free in freelancer refers to the freedom to work the way that works best for me. I’ve found that also means I do the best work for my clients.
I’m free to turn off my computer and go to the zoo (San Diego’s zoo is wonderful) or the beach or throw pots or garden. Heck I can even go to the super stores on a Tuesday morning when few people are their.
And yes, I do get out of the house and sometimes it’s about writing. I meet with my Mastermind writing group today at lunch – this time at a Korean restaurant. How cool is that?
If I were working in-house in someone’s office I couldn’t do any of these things, at least not on the schedule I want.
Is it always great? Well, yes, in many ways it is. Is it for everyone? Probably not.
What’s Your Definition?
As I think about this I realize my definition has changed over the years. I’ve done some temporary in-house writing jobs. I’ve done some part time work inside. I’ve commuted and gotten dressed up and even worn (gasp) high heels. (Why are high heels considered safer by some than open toed shoes? Sigh.)
I’ll bet your definition will change, if it hasn’t already.
But tell us, what’s your definition of freelance today?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu