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Careers Being a Freelancer Is . . .  

Elise Hennigan
1k votes 100 voters 41.6k views

List Rules Anything that could finish the sentence: "Being a freelancer is..." Do NOT mess up my sentence structure or I'll have to delete your contribution :)

Anyone who has struck out on their own and pursued freelance work knows what an emotional roller coaster the whole process can be. At first, it's exhilarating. You're officially a freelance writer! (Or a freelance graphic designer, web programmer, photographer, whatever.) You're freeeeee!! so you call up some friends, spend the day at the beach, stay up way too late, and consider throwing your laptop into a bonfire. You are never going to be glued to that thing again!

Then you realize that you actually have to find clients, look for gigs and, you know, work. Anxiety kicks in and you're pretty sure you'll never make it, and you've made the worst decision ever, and, and... Your whole existence pretty much fluctuates back and forth like this until you've reached some sort of balance (or you throw in the towel). For most freelancers, the good outweighs the bad, you become addicted to the freedom, and you never look back. But others find that they actually kind of hate it. 

Fellow freelancers: what is being a freelance writer like for you? Many consider it to be one of the best jobs in the world, but what actual insight can you give? I've gotten this list started with a several ideas that came to mind, but you are free to contribute and vote to your heart's delight. After you've read it, don't forget to share this with your freelance friends!
list ordered by

1
53 6
Stressful is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Stressful
So, where is your next paycheck coming from now?

2
39 4
Emotionally Draining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Emotionally Draining
Disgruntled clients, negative criticism, unreasonable demands... it can be tough.

3
35 4
Way More Involved Than People ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Way More Involved Than People Think
You're aren't just a writer/designer. You're also a bookkeeper, accountant, marketer, etc, etc. 

4
42 6
Really Hard Work is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Really Hard Work
Everyday I'm hustlin' ... do do do do do do do.

5
37 7
Hectic is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Hectic
When it rains, it pours!

6
36 9
Frustrating is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Frustrating
Why do people expect you to work for pennies and then refuse to pay you?

7
33 9
A Tax Season Nightmare is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
A Tax Season Nightmare
The IRS WILL come for you. 

8
33 9
Not All That It's Cracked Up t... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Not All That It's Cracked Up to Be
In my daydreams, I worked way fewer hours and got paid way more.

9
33 10
Exhilirating is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Exhilirating
... at first and after that too! You are free!

10
29 8
Disappointing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Disappointing
I tried to strike out on my own but feel like now I'm doing everyone else's busy work.

11
32 12
Freeing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Freeing
Goodbye office and set hours!

12
30 11
Lonely is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Lonely
I never thought I'd say this... but I kind of miss the office gossip.

13
26 10
Self-Affirming is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Self-Affirming
I can be successful on my own!

14
28 12
Isolating is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Isolating
I'm pretty sure I haven't left my apartment for three days.

15
23 8
Difficult to Balance With Fami... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Difficult to Balance With Family
I thought I'd have more time, but really I'm always working.

16
24 9
Way More About Marketing Than ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Way More About Marketing Than I Anticipated
Why yes, I am the perfect person for the job. Here's why...

17
25 10
Empowering is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Empowering
You don't have to depend on anyone else for your paycheck (well... kind of).

18
22 9
Inspiring is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Inspiring
You can choose which projects you want to work on!

19
21 11
The Best Decision I've Ever Ma... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
The Best Decision I've Ever Made
Suck it, corporate America!

20
21 13
Too Much Responsibility is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Too Much Responsibility
There's no one to blame but yourself... and it's the worst!

21
16 9
Confusing is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Confusing
Where do I get health insurance? How do I pay taxes? What should my rate be??

22
21 16
The Best Way to Achieve Work/L... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
The Best Way to Achieve Work/Life Balance
You can schedule your own time, and you can take off the whole damn summer if you want!

23
15 14
Soulless is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
Soulless
I am constantly selling myself. Hour by hour, project by project. 

24
4 4
Depressing is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
prissymay added Depressing

25
3 4
Being a Hot Mess is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Being a Freelancer Is . . .
prissymay added Being a Hot Mess