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What It Looks Like to be a Location-Free Freelance Writer

location free freelance writer

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Being location-free has been a dream of mine ever since I heard of the concept.

And last week I got to experience that concept in full.

I mean, I have been a location-free freelance writer, in theory, since February. But I haven’t actually put it into real practice.

Sure, I can move from my office to the kitchen table to the deck to the library. (I am a true-blooded homebody).

But I haven’t actually done my work from a very “removed” location.

Until last week.

Now, before I start, let me just preface this by saying I didn’t go to Bali or the Bahamas or anywhere exotic–not that that isn’t in the plans for someday. But I did put in a full week’s worth of work while traveling.

In a semi.

So, Hubster drives a semi for a living and he’s been begging for me to come along for a week with him on the road. I was not quite as eager, but I knew it meant a lot to him, so I did it for him;)

And last week was the week we finally made it happen.

I spent a full week with Hubster, in his semi, out on the road.

And I worked the entire time.

 

Here’s what location-free work really looks like:

The scenery constantly changes

You get to see the world, the sun, the trees. Everything going past your window changes by the moment. You don’t have to see the same gray cubicle walls and pinned-up policies every day.

This definitely keeps a person’s brain stimulated.

Seeing the sun makes you more alive.

 

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You get to stop and go as needed

I had so many work stretches of earbuds-in, nose-to-the-grind where I got shiz done. But, I was also able to look up and take pictures. Look up and have a quick snack. Look up and walk around a tree-lined lot. Look up and visit a thrift store.

 

 

place a location-free freelance writer can go

 

No one’s watching your back, making sure you only take a 30-minute-on-the-dot break or using the bathroom too much (Doesn’t that just sound ludicrous and dehumanizing? For someone to monitor your bathroom breaks? But it happens in corporate every day).

 

You get to have experiences on top of work

At the same time. I mean, where else can you work and experience changing scenery at the same time? The scenery out the window changes every second. The view and atmosphere are never stagnant.

Stagnancy is the death of creativity.

And I have never been so intellectually stimulated!

 

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The actual logistics of being a location-free freelance writer:

Freelance writing is one of those professions where you only need a few things to be able to work remotely.

 

Laptop

I mean, it goes without saying, you need a portable computer.

Location-free freelance writer looks like

Personal hotspot

Hubster and I have a plan with unlimited data, so I was able to hotspot my phone wherever I needed. I only lost my connection in a few remote areas, for 15 minutes at most.

 

Desk (optional)

Below was my desk. I will be putting this puppy in the camper now. I’ve been wanting portable lap tables for the camper. This locker shelf was perfect (because I couldn’t find a lap desk). It has a rubber non-slip top that kept my computer in place. I put a blanket underneath it on my lap and voila! Portable desk.

Really, that’s all you need.

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Co-working space

Although a co-working space isn’t a necessity, it’s nice to have a few places that you can think of as dedicated work space. Those workspaces could be:

  • Passenger’s seat in a semi
  • Local library
  • Coffee shop
  • Friend’s dining room table
  • An actual rented co-working space

Know what I think they should have? (Listen up: here’s a free business idea for you enterprising types). There should be an AirBnb or couch-surfing type site for available co-working spaces. How cool would it be if homeowners, hotels, or businesses offered spare rooms or offices they weren’t using to entrepreneurs? Perhaps even for free.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could work in a waterfront porch one day and a renovated guest house another day? I think so! It’s a great alternative to co-working spaces for people like me who don’t want to work there every day, just once in awhile.

I think it would be so cool if people with WiFi offered location-free entrepreneurs a free place to work for the day. Anyone want to adopt me for a day?

Anywho…

I am so blessed and beyond grateful to be living this life, finally! Although the trucking life isn’t for me (at all!), working location-free definitely is.

 

A few bonus highlights from our trip:

Truck stop food (and tacky mallard wallpaper and fake plants;)

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A funny dispatcher. “I got you Boo!”

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A wildflower preserve between a highway and a railroad track.

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We were definitely in Amish country:

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Where’s Batman?

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The noise wasn’t what I was expecting from a trailer named Cold Train;)

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And last, but not least, my three favorite profound quotes from our trip:

  • “Dear. We’re being passed by a bridge!” (as a truck hauling a bridge passed him on the highway)
  • “Now my face smells like Rayna’s butt.” (After washing his face with a diaper wipe)
  • “You know, taking a shower makes the world make sense.” (me, after 1 of only 3 showers during the week.)

^^^^That’s sooo us right there. Hehe;)

 

So, tell me…

Is this the type of life you’ve always wished you could have? (C’mon, not the semi part, the location-free part!)

 


If you want to work location-free as a freelance writer, like I get to, check out my Freelance Freedom From Corporate series to join me!

Is Freelance A Dirty Word?

what does freelance mean

 

Quick…

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “freelance?”

.

.

.

.

Side job

Something people do to make a little extra cash.

Starving artist.

The people companies use when they need to save money and can’t do it themselves.

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Is that about right?

When you tell people you’re a freelance writer, they feel sorry for you. Then, they try to offer you ” real jobs.” Even though they’re coming from a helpful place, you can’t help but feel insulted.

The word “freelance” even has the word “free” right in it! People oftentimes don’t take it as a real, serious business.

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What they don’t know is that you’re making more money than any corporate job has ever paid you.

What they don’t know is that you have to be one of the most Type-A driven, organized humans to create your own success.

What they don’t know is that you have a rare and valuable talent that other business owners find invaluable.

What they don’t know is that this job revolves around more than just writing pleasant sentences. You have to be adept at psychology, persuasion techniques, branding, emotion, audience awareness, research, SEO, social media, story and so many other aspects.

What they don’t know is that you had to hustle your a$$ off to get to where you are.

What they don’t know is that content is absolutely paramount in business right now and good writers are actually? Everyone business’s secret weapon.

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What to call yourself instead

I don’t want anyone associating any of the things listed at the top of this post to what I’m doing for a living. So, I’ve decided to change the language around what I do and hope you consider doing the same.

I’ll still probably use the term freelance for this site for search purposes and sometimes in conversation for clarity purposes.

But for actual clients?

I am a professional fitness copywriter. I own my own copywriting business.

That language is much stronger and more important, right?

Even in my own head, that seems more legit. It makes me feel more confident about what I do.

More importantly, it more accurately describes what I do.

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So, my fellow freelancers, here’s your homework…

1. Decide on your one-liner.

The one line you’ll use to describe your business the next time someone asks you what you do for a living…

  • I own my own content marketing business.
  • I am a professional finance writer.

 

2. Improve your mindset

It took awhile for you to admit to yourself that you were a real writer.

Then, it took awhile for you to get out of the “employee” mindset and into a business mindset.

It will take a little bit of time to get used to the idea that you own a copywriting business. But you do! And you will!

So, just start saying it and owning it. Don’t roll your eyes and follow it up with “that’s just a fancy way of saying I’m a freelance writer.”

Ditch your employee mindset and remember that you are a fellow business owner, not your clients’ employee. You work together, not one for the other.

You have a real business. Don’t let anyone–yourself included–deflate your ownership of that. No one would walk into Walmart and say they’ll trade a few hours at the cash register in exchange for a TV.

That’s ludicrous!

Almost as ludicrous as anyone believing your work is available in exchange for a few kisses on the cheek.

Unless it’s your daughter.

You can write for your daughter for a few kisses on the cheek. That’s acceptable.

 

So, tell me…

Is “freelance” a dirty word? Fellow freelancers, how do you describe what you do? Do you get the same patronizing feels when people hear you’re a freelancer?

Freelance Income Report November 2016

freelance-income-report

Here I am finishing up my second official month of freelance writing. And since income reports appear to be a hit, I will continue them.

And although it’s a bit early in my journey, I can already tell you a few things for certain:

  1. The work you get each month depends on how much you hustle and pitch the month before.
  2. If you don’t have any more hours in the day to work, you probably will level off at some point.
  3. There’s a way around #2. You need to demand higher rates and/or also leverage and diversify your income. What I mean by that is, you need to have other things for sale that doesn’t just trade your time for money. I’m experimenting with this right now.

So, before I go any further, my freelance writing income for November was…

$1650

 

Not a bad chunk of extra change right before Christmas, eh?

Remember my income from October’s freelance report was $1385. So, it went up a little: 19% if I did my math correctly.

Part of the reason I got a bit more than last month was that I had some “vacation” time from my corporate job so I was able to dedicate several full days to my freelance work.

Expenses:

My expenses were pretty trivial, unless you count the $277 I spent on a business coaching package. But actually, I used my own spending money I’ve been saving up for that, so I don’t really know if that counts.

I also have the cost to maintain my site, but I paid that in full for two years several months back. I don’t divide it out by month, I just pay it when it’s due.

 

Freelance writing jobs I’m working on:

  1. Writing copy for a fitness app
  2. Product copy for snowboard equipment
  3. A paid post on Make A Living Writing

I was working for several of the same clients as last month as the projects are ongoing for now.

 

My predictions for next month:

  • December should be roughly about the same.
  • I only have a little PTO left, so I don’t have many more full days in December to work.
  • I didn’t send out as many pitches in Nov to make Dec bigger. It’s a numbers game.
  • My fitness app job comes to an end in December, so I’ll need to hustle again to bring in some work for January.
  • And it’s Christmas. I don’t intend to spread myself too thin this month as we settle peacefully into this starry-eyed season.

 

If you’re getting started on your own freelance journey, I’ve got some must-read articles for you:

 

I have many more up my sleeve for the future too, so be sure you subscribe so you don’t miss them! And I plan on doing more of these income reports as well. So, if you enjoy seeing the cold, hard warm, fulfilling truth then stick around;)

 

So tell me…

What other freelance writing/biz topics would you love to hear more about?

Would you be interested to see how I track my income (it’s very low-tech)?