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The highs and lows of being freelance

Posted on 16th September 2010

Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of... Whoa, sorry, that's what Dolly Parton says you do if you work 9 - 5* but I am a freelancer so I get up, switch the computer on and hey presto, it's the 10-second commute. Great eh?!

Well, that's what quite a few people ask me and I never want to give a one-sided answer, so if you're thinking of going freelance, or are just intrigued about why some of us do it, here are a few of the pros and cons.
Yes, I get up after my husband but am still 'at work' before him but it also means I am never more than 10 seconds away from work. If I want to check my fantasy football points, the weather or personal emails, regardless of when that is, I will always end up checking work emails and following up on them if needed, not to mention checking site stats, keeping up with social media and keeping one eye on the finances. In fact, I wrote the draft of this blog at 4.40am when the idea came to me because if I didn't write it down, it would have all been a vague and distant memory when I re-awoke during daylight hours.

Then I hear people say I can have as much holiday as I like. True, I only have myself to ask for the time off, but if I consider the loss of earnings during that holiday then it becomes a very costly adventure, not to mention the fact that I still have my mobile and emails with me to keep on top of things. Literally, time spent not working is time spent not earning.

Don't get me wrong, I chose this lifestyle and I love it, but I just wanted to highlight to you that it's not all 'ladies wot lunch' and trips to the spa. Yes, I manage my own time so regularly have an afternoon nap, but I also work evenings and weekends at no extra cost to the client and never really 'switch off' from thinking about my next marketing plan, piece of work or even blog entry. I have no pension, but that said, who does and will have by the time my generation reach 'retirement age' (will that word still even be recognised and understood?). I have the joy of the NHS (honestly, no sarcasm intended) as I know fellow freelancers in other countries don't have that security, I have a network of other great self-employed people to keep me sane and I love what I do and the challenges it brings.

Now you have a bit of background about what a proofreader does (last week's blog) and the highs and lows of being freelance, I intend to give you all some pearls of grammar and writing wisdom in the next few weeks. Prepare to be dazzled...

* Dolly is about to start working for her own label so some may say she's self-employed too though obviously singing/owning a theme park is not exactly akin to being a proofreader and copy editor! Shame.

Written by Kate Haigh.