What It Means To Be A Freelancer
When I first thought seriously about becoming a freelancer, I was reminded of a line from the film, Lord of the Rings. Frodo, the humble yet brave hobbit complains to Galadriel, the powerful elf. He tells her that he feels so alone carrying the Ring of Power, to which Galadriel answers: “To be a ring bearer is to be alone”.
This may seem like an extreme comparison — after all, freelancers are not really held responsible for the fate of an entire realm. All the same, I can relate to the sense of loneliness Frodo must have felt at such incredible task. A freelancer is the opposite of a full time, corporate employee — he works alone. He works the same as everyone else — except he has no one to guide him, no one to offer immediate help and is often times left to fend for himself in difficult times. Who wouldn’t feel alone?
It’s a scary thought to be alone, yet it was what drew me towards becoming a full time freelance writer. The idea of not having a boss appealed to me greatly, and I foolishly thought this would be the best thing in the world. To work and be my own boss sounded absolutely blissful. Two months later, I realized I’m not a very good boss. I allowed myself to get sidetracked and wandered off the goal I set for myself, knowing I wasn’t accountable to anyone.
Unlike Frodo, the world didn’t end because of the way I handled (or mishandled) my freelance work. My earnings, however, nearly came to a blinding halt — and that’s about as close to an apocalypse as I will allow myself to be in. This snapped me out of my novice freelancer daze and vowed to do better next time. This is also the first hard lesson I learned as someone who is new to freelancing.
So if you are ever thinking of leaving a corporate job and becoming a full time freelancer, remember that having the perks of freelancing has its price. To be successful, you need to be a good boss to yourself — set goals, motivate and give yourself focus no matter what. Middle Earth may not depend on you, but your household will.
Image Credit: Frodo by OSW of deviantart.com