Why do I Freelance?

Recently, I have been reading stories of people quitting their high-paying jobs and becoming freelancers. People go into various businesses on their own, from wedding planning to hand-sewn tote bags. Many of them talk about the fear of giving up their “day jobs,” and claim to dabble in their freelance passion for months or years before actually quitting said day job and going freelance full-time. But what I am not reading are stories about freelancers who got there some other way…

I used to work for a major law firm as a paralegal. I had my own office, made decent income, and had good benefits. I left the job not because I wanted to freelance write; I left the job because it was the end of my pregnancy and my then-husband and I agreed that I could stay home for at least 6 months. Then life threw me a serious curve ball and I found myself divorced and the single parent of a small, nursing baby – hardly the ideal situation for going back to that “day job.” So I turned to something I have always been good at: writing. Thanks to many wonderful mentors and connections, I learned that the world of the writer is not the elusive, vague career goal it once was. Now there is the internet, and the need for content, and writers are much in demand.

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I considered myself a writer from a young age – I always had my notebook in tow, and later, my electric typewriter (forerunner of the laptop!). Even though I majored in Studio Art in college, writing remained a constant passion. But I did not understand how to make it work as a career. It was too vague and, frankly, scary. There was no internet yet.

All this to say, there is not any one reason why people freelance. Nearly everyone who does, though, agrees that they’d never go back to that day job.

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