If you’ve been blessed with having a freelance writer, web designer or other self-employed individual in your life, things are often quite interesting. Your loved one may work a job schedule that you’ve only hoped for throughout your whole working life. He or she may have to do things as part of an assignment that range from sampling new restaurants to taking photos to accompany an article. However, it’s not a glamorous life by any means, and it’s certainly an undertaking where family and friends’ support are needed. Learn more about some important things about your loved one’s freelancing, including:
1. The fact there IS a reason for all that computer/phone/tablet time
2. Why your loved one might not be able to just hang out as easily
3. How schedules for freelancers can change so quickly
4. Why everything you’ve believed about freelancing is largely based on fiction
Yes, we are online for a reason
One of the things that many people file into the Things That Non-Freelance Folks Just Don’t Get category is the amount of time that we need to spend online on any given day. Freelancing is, indeed, very flexible, but it also comes with a price: There is no conventional work day where you leave your desk for the day at a certain time. Some writers need to take lower-paying projects that require more time just to keep a check coming in. A project that seems fairly easy at the beginning may require more time than anticipated. Then, to top things off, clients often ask for revisions at the most inconvenient times. The amount of time spent online does indeed give us opportunities to check Facebook or Twitter in between things, but you can rest assured that that’s just a wee part of what we do every day.
Hanging out or calling to say “Hey!” isn’t always easy
A common misconception among people outside the freelance world is that we can work any hours we want. However, taking freelance projects involves finding a careful balance between your work and personal life. Sometimes you need to find a way to work a time-consuming project around caregiving responsibilities or even another part-time position outside the home. Freelancers like to make jokes about forgetting our own friends’ names, but it does show that our time demands due to our jobs are as real as anybody’s. If you have a freelancing friend or family member, you need not worry that you’re unimportant to them, it’s just that they have demanding schedules that may make a text or email more likely than a long call.
Regular schedule? What’s that?
Although many freelancers successfully find a way to keep to a regular schedule, the nature of this work often makes a straight nine-to-five schedule hard. Some clients contact writers or web designers for work when they need a project completed on short notice. Many clients who require freelance services are in other time zones, and may assign projects or request revisions outside business hours in the writer’s area. Also worth noting is the fact that many freelance professionals find well-paying opportunities by making themselves available on weekends and holidays. As independent contractors, most freelancers do not have recourse to paid vacation time or leave.
The writers and the myths
One thing that provides a lot of amusement for writers and other freelance workers is the fact that many myths abound about what we do. For writers, this is the assumption that all are book or magazine writers and have items in print, available in a store. Successful novelists are rare in the writing world, and a majority of writers earn their income through articles, web and advertising copy or ghostwriting. If you’re not a writer, you may wonder why you can’t buy something they’ve published or feel hurt if they can’t send you something they wrote for you to read. Don’t take this personally, as many writers who copywrite or ghostwrite don’t own the rights to what they have written. Do take interest in what your loved one does publicly share, and share those works with others.
If one of your family members or close friends is a freelancer, show them as much support as you can. Working independently is not for everyone, and it takes a special type of person to make it happen. When you understand the importance of their work, you will be in a better position to be supportive.