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I hated working for corporate but being a freelance writer is so hard

I hated working for corporate but being a freelance writer is so hard

I began my career as a writer working for an entertainment news website. Then, I proceeded to go to Village Pipol Magazine. However, there was a time in 2021 when I thought I should leave and climb the corporate ladder. I became a copywriter for an e-commerce company. Despite enjoying the job, I hated the fact that someone else dictates what I have to do. No hate is intended for that person. I’m just not fit to work under a boss. So, I went back to Village Pipol as a freelance editor and proofreader. 

RANT AHEAD: I hated working for corporate but being a freelance writer is so hard.

My quest to climb the soul-crushing corporate ladder began and ended in just three months. I realized that climbing the corporate ladder isn’t worth it. So, I went back to pushing towards a job that I actually like —  freelance writing. I stopped working at corporate because I find it extremely unfulfilling.

Sure, I would make enough money to cover my expenses. However, I didn’t feel as motivated. Plus, I believed in my own abilities. Working as a freelance writer is a slower process. There are times when I can only pay bills and there wouldn’t be enough to save money for my future. Although it’s enjoyable, it’s so fucking hard to work freelance. 

Working as a freelance has the promise of ultimate freedom. I can work anywhere and anytime I want. But, it’s far from easy. Contrary to popular belief, sending tons of applications a day won’t do the trick. Sometimes, connections won’t even help you. Freelance comes with perks. However, it also has pitfalls. 

Freelancing is often a life of extremes. 

Sometimes, there is too much work or no work at all. There is rarely an in-between. Sometimes, I am buried with so much work that I didn’t have time for anything else. But, sometimes, I am totally out of projects that I can’t even afford to buy a meal from a fast-food restaurant. 

Plus, working freelance has no sense of security. 

Several factors contribute to this. This, of course, includes finding clients, competition, and the effort of standing out. Many freelancers have this uncertainty that put them in survival mode. It makes me afraid to turn down projects, even when I have too many. Because it simply terrifies me of letting these opportunities go. I am planning on having my own place someday. And, I’m worried that if I say no to a project, those plans would literally turn to nothing. 

And, because of that never-ending worry, it becomes difficult to achieve a work-life balance. 

It’s the irony of working freelance. Thinking that I won’t have enough money for tomorrow, I say yes to every project that appears. Despite freelancing being able to work anywhere or anytime, it gets harder to switch off and take a break. I work from Mondays to Sundays. When I receive an email from a potential client asking for my portfolio, I can’t pass the chance up.

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I don’t have the ability to let these opportunities wait — because financial security isn’t really there. I already work from home and the line between work and life gets blurred. So, I end up mixing the two. Plus, I don’t really have a team to help me. Suddenly, I’m everything at once. I’m my own accountant, my own administrative staff, my own networker, my own scheduler, my own marketer, my own salesperson, and my own project manager. 

Sometimes, I undersell my talent. 

One of the greatest temptations for freelancers revolve around underselling ourselves and it’s all too easy. I sometimes do this because I’m not sure I can get what I believe I’m worth. Or because I have no idea what I’m actually worth. It’s a bad idea and it can be a vicious cycle. Because if I don’t believe I will get paid what I’m worth, clients will be very happy to take advantage of it. 

It’s easier to get burnout. 

There are days when I just wake up and don’t have any fresh ideas to write. There is literally nothing in my brain and all I can picture is a toy monkey banging cymbals in front of it. My energy has emptied out. Then, it’s as if my problems seem so many. It just gives me mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion that makes me stressed out. I back away from burnout by taking control. If I work too much, I have to carve out some downtime. So, I try out a few relaxation techniques. I crochet, trying to take my mind completely away from my problems. 

Despite all of that, I won’t change a thing. I just have to avoid disenchantment and hold on to my vision. I also need to understand my own worth and stop underselling myself. Aside from that, I will also take breaks and continue reconnecting with my favorite pastimes. Although there will be grimmer realities, I know I can achieve many great benefits from freelance work. 

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