Quarterlife+


Why I owe real freelance writers an apology

Posted in Life,Writing by Ashley Franklin on July 9, 2010
Tags: , , ,

What do I do for a living? My answer depends on the day. On days I don’t write, I may say I’m unemployed. For all intents and purposes, I might as well be unemployed on days I don’t write because I don’t get paid not to write. Writing intentions don’t equate to dollars. Writing ideas don’t equate to dollars. Honestly, writing doesn’t even equate to dollars sometimes.

I remember the first time I uttered the words “I’m a freelance writer.” I was in the bank with my husband, and the woman handling our account asked what I did for a living. I was so cool, calm, and collected when I said it. However, my husband’s wide-eyed look of surprise reflected how I felt on the inside. Was it true? Was I a freelance writer then? No. Am I a freelance writer now? I’m not really sure, but I don’t think so. Besides, how do you know when you have arrived? There’s no welcome packet. Is it just a hunch? Perhaps it’s a feeling of confidence or  a certain amount of clients you achieve. If you call yourself an artist, when did you feel like a real artist?

I’ve started reading several freelance writing blogs. These people (is that okay to say?) write when they want to, when they don’t want to, and flat-out because they love to. What makes me different from them? Self-discipline. I haven’t shown enough discipline in my writing tactics to call myself a freelancer. I have not religiously scoured job boards or scouted out clients. At best, I am sketchy at the first thing and petrified of the second. But, I am actively making improvements. I am trying to figure out my niche, and once I do, I will make a website for myself. I’ve read multiple times that this is something you must do. I consider myself an aspiring writer. When that changes, I will let you know.

The Apology:

To you, the writer/reader/editor/publicist/social media guru, I apologize. You wear many hats. I have yet to acquire your many talents or your tenacity to endure the ups and downs of your profession. I will no longer use the name of  “freelancer” or “freelance writer” in vain. It is a title you have worked hard for, and I hope to join your ranks in the near future.

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One Response to 'Why I owe real freelance writers an apology'

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  1. P.S. Jones said,

    I have a question: Do you make money by working on a work for hire or 1099 basis for a company or a person? (And I know for a fact that you do.) Well then you’re a freelance writer. You might not be a particularly motivated freelance writer or one working full capacity but the title stands.

    I think you’re being a little hard on yourself. We can all be better at what we do. Doesn’t make what the things you have accomplished any less impressive. I’m sure that there are days that Beyonce doesn’t sing, but I doubt she would say that she’s not a singer because of it.


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