Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Would You Trade In the Freelance Life?

Besides the deadlines I’ve been scrambling to meet and the papers I’ve been frantically trying to finish, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past few weeks and I’m in a real period of transition—perhaps the biggest of my adult life. I think it’s finally time to claim what I truly want to do, and stop making apologies for it. More on that in the next few posts.

So it’s gotten me thinking—with all of the instability that comes with the freelancing life, have you ever regretted your decision to pursue it, whether full time or part time? It seems to be one of the few career paths that’s virtually recession-proof…there will always be some kind of writing work somewhere if you’re willing to search for it (and put enough “feelers” out there). But do you ever regret giving up stability (whatever that looked like for you) for the admittedly unpredictable freelance life?

I can definitely see where the benefits would far outweigh the bummers—flexibility, the chance to work on a variety of projects that challenge you (rather than leave you feeling burned out, overworked, and generally stuck in a rut), not to mention saying “no” to those persnickety clients that often turn out to be more trouble than they’re worth. So why are so many of us reluctant to claim the life that we’ve dreamed of?

I guess fear is the biggest motivator to just stick it out, wherever you are. Fear of not having regular income. Fear of never finding work again. Fear of giving up the safety net (benefits, etc.) But think about it—wouldn’t you regret the fact that you didn’t take the chance to see if you really could do it? That maybe you could live life on your own terms? It would probably be the most terrifying—and exhilarating, satisfying—thing you would ever do. It’s good to really scare yourself once in awhile. It shows what you’re truly made of.

So, fellow freelancers, I ask you—would you ever trade in the freelance life for something a little more predictable?

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