Freelancing’s ‘A Mug’s Game’ And Other Tips

Newly laid-off freelance? Here’s a list of been-there, done-that tips from a journalist who lost his job a year ago and was thrown headfirst into the land of freelance.

“The last year of freelancing has been a roller-coaster of mistakes, mishaps, lost cash, wasted time, frustration. I’ve found myself tied into week long gigs at a scandalously low rate, and also lost out on good commissions because I went in too cheap,” says Adam Westbrook. Tip one: The first two weeks really suck. “The complete loss of structure left me feeling unbalanced and guilty (yes, guilty!) when I hadn’t been productive for an hour or so…have a plan for the first fortnight. Fill it with structure, routine, fresh air, exercise, meetings and lunch dates with friends. Your first couple of weeks in a normal job usually ease you in, so why should freelancing be any different?”

The list seems pretty dead-on to this veteran freelancer, except for maybe the last tip: “freelancing is a mug‘s game….You are no longer part of the rat-race, but you are still renting your brain out to someone else, on their terms. It can be a career of writing stories about things you’re not interested in, serving people you despise, and getting multimedia you’ve made redrafted to the bone.”

You don’t have to be the mug! Stand tall, freelancers!