3 Freelancing Perks You May Have Never Thought About

Image inspired by the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

As freelancing grows in popularity, more people are starting to wise up to its perks: You get to work in your P.J.s, you get to set your own schedule, you are your own boss, etc. However, there are a few extras that I’ve picked up on in my short time freelancing that other blogs just don’t seem to talk about. So, here’s a look at 3 freelancing perks that you may have never thought about before!

1. Freelancers don’t (always) have to go through the traditional interview process.

Gif pulled from Google (no copyright infringement intended).

In an age of job-hunting with tricky interview questions like “if you were a color, what color would you be and why,” it’s easy to become overwhelmed and disenchanted with the whole process. I remember sitting in on multiple phone and in-person interviews wondering why potential employers couldn’t just let me show them what I could do instead of making me have to come up with a creative way to explain my “weaknesses.” With freelancing, I have found that a lot of the process of obtaining clients is based on ideas of trust and proving yourself, rather than on a “tell me about yourself” interview model. For example, when snagging my first client, I reached out to her and asked if she needed help with a website she owns (and I was a fan of). She responded asking for my resume, and a little over a year later, we are still working together. Now, every client is different and some may indeed want to go through an interview process, but if you’re disciplined and determined enough and find the right people to work with, often your ethic will speak for itself.

2. Freelancers can do a little bit of everything.

Gif pulled from Google (no copyright infringement intended).

In my work with my current clients, I complete assignments in the fields of grant proposal writing, blog post writing, editorial assisting, podcast show note writing, and proofreading. This varied work load not only keeps things fresh, but also allows me to work many different skills simultaneously. While it is great to be able to switch gears every now and then, and as a young freelancer I love being able to keep myself open to new clients and experience-expanding opportunities whenever possible, it also takes a lot of discipline and organization. If you struggle to compartmentalize, it may be in your best interest to find a niche. My advice is to determine your skills first and your interests second and to never shy away from a job you know you can do; you never know when you might find a new field you love!

3. Freelancing comes with less risk…kind of.

Gif pulled from Google (no copyright infringement intended).

As with any subset, the world of freelancing comes with its own lingo. Employers in a traditional setting become clients in freelancing. Freelancers work with others and for themselves. This lingo also brings new connotations, especially when it comes to hiring and firing. As mentioned before, a lot of freelancing is based on trust; the client trusts that the freelancer will accomplish the assignment by the given deadline, and the freelancer trusts that the client will compensate fairly for time worked. It is much simpler to follow this model in freelancing than in a traditional workplace because there is simply less risk involved for both parties. If a client does not like the work a freelancer has done, the client can simply decide to no longer work with the freelancer. There is (usually) no need to stop payroll checks or fill out paperwork or deal with taxes. On the opposite side, if a freelancer feels he or she is being treated unfairly or just doesn’t mesh well with a client, he or she can decide to end the working relationship with little incident (in most cases). Now, one must bear in mind that because of the reduced risk associated with freelancing on the client’s side, there is more risk on the freelancer’s side of being let go than there may typically be in a traditional job. However, you’re not considered “fired” so much as that your relationship with the client has ended, which is, in my opinion, a much more preferable alternative (especially in fields like mine where language plays such an important role!).

There are tons of benefits that make freelancing such a wonderful, lucrative career path. From the perks I mentioned above to ones that are more well-known, there is no end to the reasons why freelancing can be your ticket to a job and a life you can control and love.

2018: A Year in Preview

2018. 

A new year and a new chance to start fresh.

As this year kicks off, here is a little preview of what you will be seeing on my blog in the coming months:

-More consistent blog posts: I am hoping to begin posting blog entries at least once a month, so this blog doesn’t become just some superfluous page on my site.

-Writing updates: As I begin to delve into writing fiction more, and specifically into writing my long-awaited (mostly by me) short story collection, I will be posting updates and thoughts here (something fun for all of my writing friends to look forward to!). 

– Freelancing tips, thoughts, and other professional life happenings: If you have ever thought of entering the freelance world or want to learn more about me as a freelancer, this blog will be the place to go (I will also be leaving updates around my Facebook and Twitter pages, so be sure to check those out as well–links on the lower left!). 

Well, that’s all for now. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring and look forward to sharing it with you guys!

Until we chat again, here’s to a new year filled with health, happiness, and endless success!

Happy 2018 everyone!

“Circle Up” and Halloween Twitter Fun

Photo courtesy of: Clipart

 

Hello everyone!

So, I’ve already gone back on my word to keep this blog updated, but career commitments and other craziness have forced me to re-prioritize. Ah, such is life!

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone an update on some of the “for fun” projects I have going on right now. In case you don’t know, I run a Facebook group for writers called “Circle Up: A Facebook Writing Community.” This group started out of a desire to form a supportive, non-judgmental haven for writers of all genres to meet and share their woes, triumphs, and receive helpful feedback on their work.

(Much like this blog) “Circle Up” had been neglected for some time, but I am now in the process of bringing it back to life. So, if you’re a writer who’s interested in joining our little community, you can visit “Circle Up” right here 

I also have another fun event coming up next month over in the Twitterverse. Those who know me personally know that Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays. I wanted to combine this love with my passion for writing (and horror writing in particular). So, if you love horror, writing, and Halloween as much as I do, you are welcome to follow me on Twitter and join me next month for the first ever #WIPoween hashtag event.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with how hashtag events work, basically I will be posting a horror/Halloween-related writing question everyday in October on Twitter and you are welcome to answer those questions, read other’s responses, and gain some writing inspiration (all under one convenient hashtag!).

Click this link to get a sneak peek at the daily questions for #WIPoween (and maybe send a “follow” my way?)

Perhaps one day I will actually develop a consistent blogging schedule. A big thank you to everyone who has put up with the randomness so far. I promise that I will get this figured out (eventually)!

Ashley Hawley Freelancing is Now on Facebook! (+ Check Out My Interview at BeaFreelanceWriter.com)

Photo courtesy of: https://ja.facebookbrand.com/

Hello all!

As you can tell from the title, this is just a quick update post to let you know that you can now follow Ashley Hawley Freelancing on Facebook.

This new page will include links to my latest blog posts, polls & surveys, important freelancing, writing, and/or editing articles I come across, and other fun things. I’m hoping to make it a much more relaxed and casual place for potential clients and fellow freelancers to interact with me directly and gain a little insight into both my personal and professional personalities.

If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see on the Ashley Hawley Freelancing Facebook page, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment here or on the page.

Oh, and while you’re here, I have some more exciting news! I was recently interviewed by Francesca Nicasio of BeaFreelanceWriter.com and that interview has been officially published on her site. In it, I discuss how I started my business, landed my first client, and created my online portfolio, all without traditional “real-world” experience. Here is the link if you would like to check it out: http://beafreelancewriter.com/blog/freelance-writing-fresh-college-graduate/.

I am hoping to become more consistent with my blogging on this site from now on, so keep a lookout for upcoming posts (or better yet, sign up for notifications below and never miss a new blog post again!).

Happy freelancing!

On the Writer Who Doesn’t Write

Photo courtesy of: http://blog.abbottpress.com/learn-to-love-deadlines/

I have always been a stickler for deadlines. Give me an assignment, any assignment,  and I can guarantee that it will be completed days before the due date. I was always the kid in school who was able to breeze through finals week with polished assignments while everyone else struggled to finish in time. Deadlines are my forte, my bread and butter. I am good at deadlines…when they are set by somebody else.

Creativity is a tricky beast. It requires three basic tools:

  1. Inspiration: An awakening of the mind and heart to a new idea that must be shared with the world.
  2. Motivation: The drive to bring that new idea to life.
  3. Discipline: The dedication to push through hindering events and factors in order to achieve your personal goals.

“I am good at deadlines…when they are set by somebody else.”

While these three tools are necessary, the main problem lies in their (far too often) mutually exclusive behavior:

  • Inspiration is Inconvenient: I can’t tell you how many times I have been trying to fall asleep, only to be jarred to consciousness by a new story idea that just had to be written down!
  • Motivation is Dependent:  You’d be surprised by the amount of factors that can play into one’s motivation. Things like stress, diet, sleep, and even the weather can affect one’s desire to get things done (why, I’m pretty sure part of my motivation for writing this post today comes from the simple fact that it’s nearly 80 degrees and sunny out).
  • Discipline is Personal: When you are in school, you have teachers that tell you when assignments are due. When you are at work, you have a boss that tells you when your work should be completed. And if you don’t accomplish these tasks, you receive punishments like failing grades and unemployment. However, when you are creating something on your own, you are totally reliant on self-responsibility. You create your own deadlines and your own punishments (which isn’t always the best idea).

Being almost a year out of college, I have realized that most of my inspiration, motivation, and discipline to write has been externally-charged. When I know that others are dependent on my writing and are willing to compensate me for my time, I am definitely more apt to put my fingers to work. However, when left to my own devices, everyday becomes a new chance to say “maybe tomorrow.” Personal deadlines are pushed further and further until they are practically off the calendar’s boundaries and punishments become a slap on the wrist and a meager “don’t let it happen again” (which it always does).

“…I have realized that most of my inspiration, motivation, and discipline to write has been externally-charged.”

Even events like NaNoWriMo become running jokes: “Yeah, I’m totally going to do it this time!” Pages remain blank, characters remain nameless, and stories remain untold, all because of my own developed habits and attitudes.

I have become the writer who doesn’t write.

And I know that I am not alone in this. I have seen articles, posts, and comments from friends and peers that speak to this same sentiment. It seems that in a world of instant gratification, it has become so easy to become distracted from true passions and long-term commitments.

“I have become the writer who doesn’t write.”

However, not all is lost. Just in writing this post alone, I can feel the inspiration racing through me. That has to count for something, right? If I can just silence those distractions, stresses, and other monsters that seek to keep me from writing and harness my inspiration into real discipline and motivation, I know that I can achieve something big.

So, this is my call-to-action for all fellow writers and creators who suffer from the “writer who doesn’t write” syndrome:

Spend some time away from your comfort zone. Put down the phone and close the laptop. Get out into the world. Channel your stress into words. Set a daily writing schedule and stick to it (even set an alarm if you have to). Find your inner disciplinarian. And finally, if you see another creator struggling to stay on track, help them out. Encourage, sympathize, and show them what it means to be part of a community.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself. It’s never too late to become the writer who does write.