The Benefits of a Freelance Writing Career
There are three things certain in my life: death, taxes and knowing I’ll never have a car accident on my way to work. Oh sure, I may occasionally rear-end a cat toy on my way to my home office every morning; but who can blame me? After all, that 10-step walk from my bedroom to my computer is an accident waiting to happen without the benefits of the first cup o’ joe. Nonetheless, my insurance premiums won’t rise over a mishap with a now misshapen, squished toy mouse. And as I settle myself down into my chair, I glance out the window to see mothers packing their less than cooperative children into SUVs to haul them to school. I am reminded why I chose the road less traveled of freelance writing, instead of the road commonly traveled which is paved with certainty.
So the question which begs to be asked is…
What are the benefits of a freelance writing career?
The profession of “writing” may have, at one time, conjured up romanticized and somewhat exaggerated images of the lone, hard drinking, stogie-smoking individual. But nowadays, if you have ideas, expertise, and some writing ability, you too can be a citizen of the freelance writers’ world. A burgeoning generation of freelancers has answered the “stand up and be heard,” cry through blogs, e-networks, social media and more. For young student writers, freelancing is a source of income which can be quite lucrative, especially if you’re paying a hefty tuition for post-secondary education. A family member of mine created a baking blog while attending university. This income helped to pay her way through college but didn’t do a thing for her kitchen cleaning skills.
It’s what you know, not who you know.
One of the best benefits of a freelance writing career is the opportunity to not only pick and choose what you write about but to pick and choose when and how and what you work on. This, of course, depends on how established a writer is, and the income such pieces generate. Freelance writing can be a feast or famine occupation, and many times one may find themselves having to write about Counterfeit Purses instead of the Future of the Environment. But, part of the gratification of freelance writing is putting into words what your brain knows, and your heart feels, and subsequently making your readers feel and know these things too.
Once established, the writer has the luxury of choosing to write about things that they are passionate about, or that they have a certain degree of expertise in. Moreover, they get paid for it. The writer may even be able to propose topics such as I did on The Writer’s Job Board. Now, that IS job satisfaction.
Taxes are certain.
Ah, the dreaded month of April. When a young man’s fancy turns to love and the rest of us turn to our accountants. Depending upon where one lives, there are tax benefits associated with a freelance writing career. Freelancing can be considered a self-employed position. Therefore, business expense deductions are often allowed. If you work from a home office, you may be able to deduct heating/electric costs, telephone and internet, and even home maintenance. There are other deductibles which you may qualify for, but of course check with a reputable professional, or your country’s tax guidelines before submitting any claims. This article offers some tips you may want to consider before next April rolls around.
The fork in the road.
There are many benefits of a freelance writing career. The first should be the satisfaction of doing what you love to do — and that is to write. Once established, a writer can choose where, when and what to write. You ARE your own boss, but as such, you are also responsible for your own success and master of your own destiny. Although the allure of flexible schedules, job satisfaction, and driving with a creative license beckon like a siren, freelance writing comes with its share of stresses such as deadlines to be met, and standards to be satisfied — especially your own. If the urge to write gnaws at you relentlessly, if you want to share your insights, knowledge and expertise with a waiting world, then the world of freelancing awaits you. There is certainty in the uncertainty of this profession; but there always is when taking the road less travelled.