A Month Of Full-Time Freelancing

A week after I left my job to freelance full-time I tried to write an update to how I was adapting. It was a gooey mess and mostly a rant about being thrown off of my routine and hating how out of whack I was. I suggested that after a month of this lifestyle I would have settled into a routine and have a better view on my adoption of this new life.

It’s now been a month (and a few days) and it turns out I was right. I’ve settled nicely into a routine with the kids and with the household tasks and with my editing. I still haven’t figured out how to work my own writing and reading for pleasure into the mix, but overall I’m much more stable mentally and feel I’m starting to hit my stride with my productivity. I still struggle with distractions, but knowing my family counts on that money for food and bills helps inspire work when all I want to do is chill on Twitter for hours.

I had a brief period where I thought I needed to treat this like a real job and sit at my desk for eight hours and work, but that failed miserably and my productivity plummeted. When I finally embraced the freedom of working from home and moved my workspace out to living room couch or into the bedroom, things started zipping along. My iPad is still my most productive piece of technology, but that is followed closely by my new Macbook Air. I’m to the point now where both devices are so dependent on each other that I would crumble if I lost either of them.

A month in, I’m still seeing the amount of work I had before I left my day job, but I’ve been very happy with some of the work I’ve been able to take on that wouldn’t have been possible with a day job. I’ve been doing some web editing and content writing for a big publishing contractor that has been very cool and I’ve been able to take on some rush editing projects that were very cool. I also feel like I’m able to put more effort into my work with Carine Press and I’ve found myself finding more projects worth pursuing for acquisition than previously because I know I have the time to devout to polishing rougher manuscripts.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to those familiar with the freelance lifestyle that the biggest downfall of this past month has been how slow many of the payments have been coming. September was a career month for me and I took in a good chunk of money that allowed us to set up some savings and investment accounts, but so far October has been destitute. Part of this has been a lack of an efficient invoicing system on my part, but the biggest part has just been the magnification of slow payments when you’re counting on them to pay bills. Luckily we have Becky’s full-time income (and benefits) and her fiscal smarts to keep us in decent shape, but I’m hoping after a few months of this stuff we’ll be able to build up the savings enough that these kinds of swings aren’t quite as painful.

Overall I’m very happy with this life and I see lots of exciting possibilities in the future. I have several writing and editing things in the works that I’m geeked about and I’m building a nice stable of regulars that are starting to come back to me. Of course in another month it could all fall apart or i may find myself in a situation I never anticipated that takes me in a completely different direction. This past year has taught me that I can plan as much as possible and still be shocked at where my life ends up.