Notes From a Hired Pen

“Freelancing: a choice not a punishment”

Under normal circumstances, I’d write my own blog post about the results of the 2012 Freelance Industry Report. But Tam Harbert did such a good job summarizing the findings that I’m just going to link to her post here.

I even borrowed the title of her post, which is why it’s in quotes. That title, and the contents of the survey (of which I’m a participant), concisely state why I started freelancing; why I continue to be a freelancer; and why the “wah wah wah all writers are broke” piece being written these days by those who failed at this business should not receive any attention from those who are trying to make a living as a freelancer.

Three highlights, as quoted from Hambert:

• 90 percent of freelancers report being happier now than before they became self-employed.

• 55 percent like freelancing so much that they would not consider working as an employee, regardless of what the job was or what it paid. Another 36 percent said they’d consider it, but it would depend on the job.

• 58 percent of freelancers feel more secure today than when they were working for someone else; about 33 percent do not feel more secure.

Yes, yes and YES. When I chose freelance journalism almost eight years ago, I had no idea that it would be the secure job option. I’ve watched from the sidelines as our local paper was gutted many times over, the most recent of incident happening just this week. I can lose a client or five, but I can’t lose my job. I’ll never be reassigned. Today I was told by an editor to change a quote (which I’m not – don’t you worry about that). As a freelancer, I chose to no longer write for this person. If this person were my boss at a full time job – what choices would I have?

Read the post. Take notes. It’s about an accurate a picture as I’ve seen about what this tier of hard working freelancers can do.

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