What do You do With Your Freelance Freedom?

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We all know that one of the biggest benefits of freelance writing is the freedom it provides. We get to set our own hours. We choose our work days. We don't have to ask for permission to take a day off when we need one. And we can work wherever and however we please. Better yet, we don't have to stick to a single routine. We have the freedom to be flexible from one day to the next.

Having that freelance freedom is a wonderful thing. But it can also be taken for granted. So today let's make sure we aren't doing that. Let's share some of the specific things we actually do with the freedom freelance writing gives us. These are the things we might otherwise miss out on.

Here are some of the things I do with my own freelance-related freedom.

  • I can work in the vegetable garden during early morning hours all week long instead of waiting until the hotter afternoon hours.
  • I can spend time with our new dog, training her and playing with her on and off during the day so she isn't stuck in a crate waiting for someone to come home from work.
  • I can take care of work around the house (like recently building and installing some office shelves) when I actually have the energy to do it. I don't come home feeling tapped after a day in the office coupled with a commute.
  • I can hop in the pool or just work outside (assuming my one lousy neighbor isn't causing a racket). Sometimes that break allows me to unwind just enough to get back into work more productively.
  • I can listen to NPR, music, or whatever I want without worrying that I'm disturbing other people in the office.
  • I can go away for a long weekend any time I want because I don't work Fridays (although now we do have to run it by my husband's employer for him to go with me).

Those are just a few examples. And they're the little things that make life that much more enjoyable when working independently. What about you? What do you do with your freelance freedom?

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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13 Comments

  1. Vcmcguire June 20, 2012 Reply

    * I can homeschool my son (although I still need significant amounts of time when he’s with someone else so I can get work done)
    * I can work out in the morning without having to get up super early
    * I can run errands during regular business hours
    * I can take my work with me when I go out of town
    * If I get bored with what I’m doing, I can look for new, more interesting assignments without having to change my entire career or change employers

  2. Cathy Miller June 20, 2012 Reply

    Oh, this is a fun exercise, Jenn.

    * I can adjust my daily 5-6 mile walk to the the coolest time of the day
    * I can dog sit my sister’s adorable Kali when she is on vacation
    * I can regularly water our grass and flowers in the hot weather
    * I can pop out to the store (or whatever) whenever the urge strikes
    * I can forget about traffic commutes

    I obviously could go on and on, but I’ll stop now. :-)

  3. LaToya Irby June 20, 2012 Reply

    I typically split my workday based on when I’m most energetic and focused. I hit a midday slump around 1 and instead of trying to work through it, I just stop for awhile and do other things like run errands, workout, or get some chords done.

    On nice days, I work in the park.
    I can go on field trips with my daughter’s class.
    I run errands during the day when there’s less traffic and fewer people in the stores. Thank goodness for not having to be in Walmart on the weekend.
    I prepare dinner earlier in the day before I’m wiped out.
    Sometimes I go to a matinee – I don’t have to find a babysitter since the little one is in daycare.

  4. Lucy Smith June 20, 2012 Reply

    * If I haven’t had enough sleep, I can have some more and start work a little later.
    * If it’s a nice day, I can sit in the sunshine and have my lunch.
    * When we get a dog (I actually just wrote ‘god’ there – but I think my cat would take exception to that) we’ll be able to spend plenty of time with it, because I don’t believe in having a dog if it’s left alone all day
    * I can take care of those errands that most people have to do during the weekends, like register the car, etc.
    * No morning commute – I save so much money on bus fares and petrol and parking! That’s extra time that I can spend sleeping or getting a jump on the day’s work.
    * No work wardrobe – getting to wear clothes that are comfortable, be that in winter or summer, without having to worry about them being work-appropriate
    * Getting the washing done! I don’t have a dryer (don’t believe in them) so it’s great to be able to put a load on when it’s sunny (and run outside if it starts to rain), not having to hope the weather will be good at the weekend.
    *I can work when I feel like it, and stop when I’ve had enough – which means my clients get my best work.

  5. Cristina June 21, 2012 Reply

    1.Taking care of my 2 kids
    2.House chores: cooking, laundry…etc..
    3.Gardening

  6. Amandah June 21, 2012 Reply

    Here’s what I do with my freelance writing freedom:

    1. I workout sometime during the morning or late afternoon.

    2. I can travel anywhere in the world and still write, if I chose to do so. Heck, I can brainstorm for travel article ideas and pitch them to publications.

    3. I can take vacation when I want to NOT when someone tells me I have to.

    4. I can take a sick day without feeling guilty about it.

    5. I can volunteer during the week if I choose to do so. I volunteered for a bookstore and animal shelter when I lived in Arizona.

    6. I save on gas money because my office is in my home. This reduces the amount of emissions spewed into our atmosphere.

    7. I can do my laundry in the morning or early afternoon.

    8. I get to pick and choose the clients/people I want to work with, especially if I hire another writer to help me out.

    9. I get to choose the look and feel of my marketing materials. Translation: I stretch my artistic and creative side to the max.

    10. I can take a break whenever I need to.

    11. I can listen to the music I like without offending anyone or worrying that the volume is too loud.

    12. I’m no longer subjected to office gossip or pettiness. Although, co-workers are inspiration for characters and plots along with career, psychology, personal development, and relationship article ideas.

    Oh boy…I always knew ‘freedom’ was my main core value. Thanks for this fun post!

  7. Lori June 21, 2012 Reply

    I can run out with my daughter to the store in the middle of the day.

    I can spend lunchtime at the park either climbing that gawd-awful hill or sitting on a park bench.

    I can decide to stop working at 2 pm.

    I can decide not to start working until 10 am.

    I can go out for tea with a friend.

    I can put on some music and dance after I finish an assignment.

    I can paint my fingernails.

    I can head to the shore in the middle of the day.

  8. Kimberly June 21, 2012 Reply

    1. I scour thrift shops during early a.m. hours and still have time in the morning for work.

    2. I sneak off to my favorite Thai restaurant with my husband in the middle of the day.

    3. I can take a nap in the afternoon (this one is rare though).

    4. I can work with people I like.

    5. See Amandah’s #12. :)

  9. Sara Renae June 21, 2012 Reply

    I loved reading through everyone’s lists! I’ve found a few ideas to add to my own :-)

    Right now, what I love about my freedom is being able to watch my son wake up at his own time (lately he’s been sleeping in until 8 in the morning, which he wouldn’t be able to do if I had to rush him off to daycare). Some days he wakes up slowly, taking in his surroundings, other days he sits up quickly and says, “Mom!”. Either way, I love being home with him every morning!

    Another thing I love about working from home is the luxury of staying in my PJs if I want! When I was teaching full time, I had numerous “Pajama Read-in Days” throughout the school year, just so I could go to work in my jammies! Now, I can do it any day and any time of the day :-)

    Fun read….thanks!

  10. Jennifer Mattern June 21, 2012 Reply

    Great lists everyone! Thanks for sharing some of the things the freedom of freelancing lets you enjoy. :)

    I think I’m going to put a list like this on one of my bulletin boards so I can be reminded of it the next time I have a bad day. No matter how bad it can be once in a while, these things are a great reminder that it could be worse. I could be living on someone else’s schedule.

  11. Allena June 22, 2012 Reply

    On Monday, I went to a movie with my kiddos.
    On Tuesday, I went to the water park with my kiddos.
    On Wednesday I worked most of the daytime hours (about 12-13 with a break) while they vegged and then hung with their dad.
    On Thursday I went to the beach with my kiddos.
    On Today I want to the outlet mall with my kiddos.
    :) I work part time, especially in the summers.

  12. Anna Brown June 25, 2012 Reply

    You guys and gals inspire me!! I can’t wait until I can take my freelance full-time. I am a lot like LaToya, I need a mid-day break. I expect to also enjoy the freedom to have meals with my husband, and to run errands midday when the crowds are fewer.

    Thanks for the great inspiration!!

    • Jennifer Mattern June 26, 2012 Reply

      When you do, make sure you come back and tell us what you love most about it. :)

      I’m similar in that I have no mental energy mid-day. In my case, instead of breaks, I start work earlier so I finish before those dreaded afternoon hours hit. And that gives me one of the best benefits of all, which I forgot to mention. I get to enjoy a bit of sunshine! Right now the 9-5 crowd gets a bit after work too. But in the winter months they go to work when it’s dark and come home when it’s dark. That wasn’t for me. It’s nice being able to visit a park, go for a drive, run errands, or just go sit outside and absorb a few rays instead of feeling like I’m living in a cave. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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