I’m going to kick this post off with a quick recap of my career working from home as a freelance writer:
Struggling employee. Unemployed “freelancer” unsuccessfully working from home. Mildly employed new mom. SERIOUSLY employed new mom. Mom who can finally afford to send children to pre-school and not blow her brains out.
Successful copywriter with own space, serenity and dream job.
See? Told you it was a quick overview. Now, I live in Belize and it is absolutely the best thing in the entire world.
Here’s what my life looks like:
And here’s where my kids go to school:
Convinced that my life is pretty awesome? Well, guess what? It all started when I decided to stop stalling out and started taking my work-from-home job seriously. And you know what? You can do it too.
First and foremost, there’s NO good time to go out on your own. It’s like going to college or having kids: It will never be not financially stressful or free of fear. (Double negative. Sorry.)
Personally, my freelance career launched in a pretty inglorious way. I hated my job and I got pregnant. My husband and I mutually decided that I needed to stop going into an office and start making money on my own … even though I wasn’t yet making nearly enough to support myself.
So I did. And for the next several years, life was a struggle, but we made it work. I soon had a baby, then another 15 months later. My business was built with both of them there in the same room with me, gurgling and playing and occasionally screaming for my attention, as babies do.
Launching a freelance career, whether you have a partner who can help float the effort or have to build it around a preexisting job, is scary. It’s not a sure bet. You might hate it, or suck at it.
But honestly, if it’s what you really want to do and you have a background in fiction writing, copywriting or blogging, you probably won’t. Trust me when I say that now is the totally-not-perfect-but-absolutely-right time, so don’t wait.
(Looking for more resources about getting started on working from home? Whether you’re a copywriter or another type of creative, we at New Leaf Writing want to help! Check out the free resource library, below.)
But … most of us don’t have tricked-out steampunk castles or Old World libraries. Our offices don’t face sprawling English cottage gardens or Hemingway-esque lakescapes.
Yes. Lakescape is a word now. Deal with it.
I can’t tell you how many people feel somehow insecure or less-than just because they don’t have an office and have to work from their kitchen table, but I’m over that. I mean, I’ve never worked anywhere cooler than a mudroom facing a small patch of grass over which my chickens roamed freely. It was cool, but glamorous?
No. Sometimes the chickens came inside. It really wasn’t glamorous.
Now I work everywhere from my kitchen table to my bed to the deck of my glorious Belizean apartment. (Okay, that last one isn’t making my point very well.)
Point? You can work from anywhere, and you SHOULD.
This advice seems almost too trite to be worth following.
But you have to. You just plain old absolutely have to believe in yourself if you want to make it in this field. Even if you have 10 years’ experience working at a copywriting firm and are amazingly expert at all the practices involved, going out on your own will still involve tons of changes.
You need to manage your own clients. You have to drum up your own work, and that means implementing and streamlining your own marketing plan. And you need to deal with your contracts, bills, taxes and more.
It’s freaking hard.
You’ll need a whole lot of courage. But if you want to stop stalling out like I did for 10 years (10 years!), then you have to just go for it at some point. I really can’t stress this enough, because it’s where I failed: Just. Believe.
Need a little more help getting there? No problem. Check out the free resource library below to get tips, tricks and support in starting your work-from-home writing career. And tell us: how did you get started working from home? Or if you haven’t yet, what would help you get there? Share in the comments!
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