For something I fell into by accident, it’s amazing how much I love freelance editing. I get to set my own hours, answer to no one but my clients, and work from wherever I want. (I’m writing this post in a bikini on my back porch. It’s 2:30 on a Thursday.) But what I love most about it is that I get to work with authors who truly value my skills, and when I finish a project, I feel good about it! I feel like I’ve accomplished something and helped someone get closer to their goals. I’ve contributed to the literary community in a meaningful way. I look forward to work, instead of punching a clock and waiting for the weekend. I wake up every morning excited for the day.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and coffee. It’s a continuous hunt for work, and you never know when the well might dry up. But personally, I love having all the responsibility on my shoulders. It makes success so much sweeter.
If you’re thinking about taking the jump to full-time freelancing, or just starting a side hustle, here are a few things I wish someone had told me when I was starting out.
Many of us are workaholics, which can be a bad deal when you’re setting your own hours. Working 24/7 makes it difficult to lead a happy and healthy life. Not only will your mood and emotional health suffer, your productivity will also suffer. And when your entire business is online, technology presents a whole new set of issues. Everyone has different methods for combatting this. For me, it’s important to set aside “tech-free time”: no phone, no laptop, no tablet. That lets my mind rest and decompress. It’s also important to set aside time to be social, to be around family and friends. Some freelancers like to designate a certain space so they know they’re “at work” when they’re there. Others designate specific working hours. Since I like to be flexible in when and where I work, that’s not the best fit for me. But again, everyone is different, and it’s important to find out what works for you! Simply prioritizing self-care and paying attention to your personal health is a big step. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell when you’re pushing it too far.
My favorite office!