7 Excellent Reasons Why I’d Rather Be a Freelancer Than Be Employed at Your Company


Many people still think that having a job in an office is the lifelong dream of a freelance worker.

“Oh, if only I could have a cubicle of my very own, and a boss with demands and coworkers with an incessant need to talk to me” said no work at home-r ever.

While the perceived “stability” of a 9-5 is a dream for many, if you really enjoy working for yourself,working for someone else isn’t an option.

When I’m feeling weak, and like I’m failing at life, I remind myself that there’s a reason why I love being a freelancer, and why working in an office might just make me suicidal.

1. Office Politics

There’s a reason why this is number one. In an office there are people everywhere, talking, listening, gossiping. In your business, after your job, after your clients, and so on… At my last office job, most people spent 70% of their time talking to one another on instant chat, or while standing around in the kitchen. They’d talk about other people, the bosses, the girls in sales, the managers. They’d be spreading rumors, asking questions about other people’s questions, and just wasting time. There was no sense of privacy, and it was like high school all over again.

You can say that every office isn’t like that, and that office politics don’t really exist. I’ll tell you right now to just turn around, head back to your sexy corner office, and leave the “little people” in the cubes alone. As long as there are different departments, and different areas in an office, there will always be office politics and nonstop talking.

2. Wasted Time

There are so many opportunities to waste time when you work at home. You could watch TV all day, or catch up on chores and errands, or spend your free time helping out your children or playing with your pets. Those are all things you can be doing, but they generally don’t affect your productivity unless you let them. I know that sounds like nonsense, but stick with me.

When you work in an office you have excuses, becauses. Traffic, donut break, coffee break, lunch break, walk break, stretch break, gossip in the kitchen time, chat online time, time spent looking up productivity tools and reading blogs. There are so many legitimate excuses to do other things because, unless you’re the boss or work on commission, you’ll no doubt have a dedicated number of tasks to work on and plenty of time to get them completed. The last time I worked in an office, I worked quickly because I’m efficient and fast and office life couldn’t keep up with me. I was actually told several times to not work so fast, take more breaks, because 1. I was out-performing everyone else and 2. there wasn’t any more work left to do and our manager himself was running out the clock everyday.

When you work at home, work gets done. Sure there are obstacles and distractions, but none of my freelance writers ever waste time babbling to me on chat. If their work is delayed, it’s because of serious reasons, either technical or personal. No excuses, no “time got away from me.” I haven’t, in my time freelancing, ever given an excuse like that, or let any of my home distractions gotten in the way of the work. I can keep my mind fresh, get outside, spend my time the way I need to while not wasting it between tasks to get through the week. And really, that’s the nature of office work isn’t it? We’d rather waste time under the reign of a boss and call it “work,” than actually be productive and get our work done on our own time.

3. Meetings

There is nothing, not even the DEVIL HIMSELF, that I hate more than meetings. They are the ultimate time-wasters, and like 1-2 hour long black holes in everyone’s week. If it can’t be written in an email, does it really exist? Or do you just need another excuse to waste time and not do what’s actually on your task list?

4. Dress Codes

I’m not a nudist, nor am I a gothic punk rocker with hot pink hair and a passion for leather. But I like color, prints, dots, stripes. When I walk into a formal office, all I see is grey, white, and light blue. The office supplies sport more color than the people using them. Why is this? To look professional? To blend in? That’s not me, and this isn’t elementary school.

I find myself ridiculously self-conscious and uncomfortable when I try to blend in, or feel like I’m trying not to be myself. Shouldn’t everyone?

5. Because I Don’t Need to Be There

There are very few jobs left in the world that actually require a human presence. Most things can be done remotely, or by robots. Seriously, think about it.

6. Creativity

I get my best ideas while in my home office, at the library, or in the Burien Press cafe. Even Starbucks, in it’s terrible cliche-ness, provides more creative stimulation than the grey box you have for me, in a sea of grey boxes, inside a grey building, in a sea of grey buildings. Grey layers around grey people. And I’m not grey.

Creative workers need comfort, warmth, the things that make them tick. Not the same box that the accountants, sales people, data entry specialists and customer service agents are thrown into. There’s no inspiration there, no motivation. Just a grey damper.

7. Control

This may be odd-sounding because freelance work is often unpredictable, but there is no stability like the kind you can control yourself. Sure, a 9-5 means that you can possibly have benefits and vacation time, but really, your employment isn’t really based on your performance anymore. It’s based on how the company is doing, how your boss is feeling, and your manager’s opinion of how you do your job. As a freelancer, you and the work you provide keep you in business, not someone else’s bottom line.

When I look back at my career so far, there’s not a single freelance job I’ve taken that I’ve regretted. When I work for myself, I’m improving myself. I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m taking on new clients and exploring new industries. The times that I spent my mornings sitting in traffic, in a rush to get to work, to get talked to constantly, to sit in nonsense meetings, to watch the clock just so that I could go fight traffic to get back home were the most wasted months and years of my life. Just years, gone. And did they make me a better person? No, they made me irate, and made me feel like less of a person because I wasn’t improving myself, I was improving someone else’s self.

I have a freelancer who writes for me who is pretty much living the dream right now, in my opinion. She travels constantly, house sits all over the world, blogs, and makes freelance money on the side for expenses, food, and equipment. At any given time she could be in Turkey, tending a farm while writing a few articles, or in Greece, or in Spain. What does she worry about? Definitely not what Cindy from accounting said about John, who was late for work this morning because of his crazy wife, or whatever else.


Why does this make sense? Do, done, and bring.


No one has been able to answer this question and frankly, I don’t think anyone has asked it.

What’s the deal with UK English users and the verb “to do”?

I have asked university professors, and my favorite English teacher about how I’ve heard the verb used in odd ways, have noticed it on TV, BBC shows and Harry Potter. Even conveying it to people… just saying the words and trying to explain what I mean doesn’t usually work because no one can hear the difference.

A while ago, in an interview between Robert Pattinson and Tyra Banks, I caught it:

Tyra: I hear that one of you guys is a fan of my Tyra Show
Robert: I am, yeah
Tyra: So you watch my show?
Robert: I have done, yeah

My brain forces me to hear “I have” or “I have done that” even when I know he says it wrong. When I’ve asked people about it, professors and heads of departments, they can’t hear the distinction, or the fact that he says “I have done” not the logical “I have” or “I’ve done that.” It’s like their brains also fill in the appropriate phrase, and have them move on…

Exploring other ways of saying the word “done” kind of throws me for a loop because some things make sense. “I am done” makes sense, just like “well done” does and even “well done you.” Or “I’ll make do.”

“In British English it is common to use do as a substitute verb after an auxiliary verb. Americans do not normally use do after an auxiliary verb.” (Teaching English UK)

Clicking around got me that resource, one of very few that scrappily and crappily explain the concept of an auxiliary verb. “May I have a look at your papers?” “You may do” ‘Have you finished your homework?’ ‘I have done.”

Does anyone else read this and think–geez, who taught these people English?

And then, well.. I remember that they kind of made the language…

But it does pang my chest every time I hear a smart, classy, obviously educated English person do silly things like add on extra dos and dones.

A few weeks ago when watching Sherlock, he asks Janine if she’ll call him later. She, off to work for apparently the most villainous of villains journalist Mr. Magnussen, replies with a quirky: “I might do, I might call ya.”

Though my chin was on the floor and my heart was beating with betrayal (WHY Sherlock? How could you give your carnal essence to the skaggy bridesmaid and NOT the pathologist in love with you?!) I just couldn’t get past the fact that the assistant to the most powerful journalist in the world said “I might do” to Sherlock Holmes. So trashy.

It’s almost as bad as when I first moved to the UP. I started hearing things that didn’t even slightly make sense, even today, but were used by teachers, grown-ups, and pretty important people. The verb “to bring” for instance was not one I’d ever used before. Being from Detroit, and having lived around the world, it just never crossed my mind that “bring” even existed. Had I ever used it before? How can I make that word click in my head? In turn, it seemed no one there understood the verb “to take.”

Indulgent example: My English teacher, the greatest in all the land, asked me to bring some papers down to the office. My ears stuttered because it took a minute to register… Did he mean to ask me to take the papers to the office? A friend of mine said that her mom brang her to the store. BRANG. I knew it was wrong, but was I going to correct her to brought when it should’ve been took to begin with? H-no!

I tried to explain it to the teacher, that I thought it was: Bring here, take there. Bring me that mug, take this cup to the kitchen. He didn’t get the difference, and insisted that in both instances it was bring.

My theory, though flimsy, is that Yoopers don’t use take because the word took is the same word for a hat, or a chook (or the Canadian toque).

Something else they don’t understand is “to the.” Instead of “I’m going to the gas station to get gas” I regularly hear(d) “I’m going put gas.” Instead of “I’m going to the store” it was “I’m going store.” Grown adults were going store or going Walmart.

I doubt there are many other people in the world that are physically disgusted when words aren’t spoken correctly, and unknowingly so. Someone out in the world taught them to talk that way. Bah! I should go to bed.

I still write letters to my best friend…

Marilyn's Letter

Well, I still write letters to one person :).

When I lived in Detroit, there was a church just two doors down from the house Mama and I were staying in. It was one of those big, beautiful churches with a pipe organ… It was as pretty as you could get in the Mexicantown neighborhood. I think I was in the 5th grade.

Marilyn was the friend of someone who held bible studies for the homeless on Vernor Ave, a meeting we would go to every week. She soon became a friend who I spent my weekends with, just driving, talking, having discussions about Harry Potter and my beliefs. We’d go visit Windsor Canada and ride bikes, or play Rummikub on the beach. She took me out on her boat, taught me how to sing, and took me on adventures. In a time when I had very little stability at home, when I had one, Aunt Marilyn was my one positive solid figure.

She was much older, 50-something to my eleven, but we had conversations like long-lost friends. And when we were apart, either because Mama and I moved suddenly and I didn’t know my address or because of school, we wrote letters. I have stacks of letters from her since I was a kid, shipped to Italy, Georgia, various places in Detroit, and everywhere since.

No one writes letters like Aunt Marilyn. Usually amounting to 10-15 pages front and back and of the same print as that notecard above, the longer we go without writing, the longer the letter.

She calls me on my birthday to sing to me.

I worry sometimes, when she hasn’t written in a while. If it’s been more than a month I begin to wonder, is she okay? Is she sick? Overworking herself (she’s nearly 70 now)? She’s been my grown up friend for so long, always talked to me like a grown woman talking to another grown woman… She’d tell me if something was wrong, right?

Thankfully this month I’ve gotten three action-packed letters from Auntie M, this last one illustrating a burglary down her street in which the owner chased after the thief, caught him, and gave him a “stern talking to” until midnight before letting him go.

Are you prepared to work from home as a writer?


Everyone wants to work at home in their pajamas, typing away while watching soaps and feeding the cats.

Or they want to be one of those people who drink lattes at Starbucks all day while doing research on their laptops. From afar, it looks to be some strange inner-circle of people that somehow managed to get an “in” so that while the rest of the world is stuck behind the counters, cubicles, and cars, they’re making money (usually much more) just by being near the internet.

I’m one of those people, sitting in a coffee shop or bundled up in my robe with Netflix going somewhere and the teapot on. Even if I have errands to run, as long as I have service I’m working.

This is both a blessing and a curse.

1. Be able to work remotely

This doesn’t mean that as long as you have an office with a web connection you’re set. This means that you need to have the discipline and professionalism needed to work, unsupervised, and meet your clients’ goals as if you were right there with their other staff.

There isn’t a single job you can do at home, that makes money, that doesn’t require meeting deadlines and expectations. If you have a reputation for missing deadlines or not being on your game at all times, and an employer writes about it on a profile of yours somewhere, finding more work will be nearly impossible.

2. Have an excellent work ethic

In most day jobs, you can lose yourself in your tasks, keeping busy and doing your work until 5PM rolls around and you can get out of dodge.

When you work at home, especially in content, you have to be prepared for disaster at all times. Ready at a moments notice to make edits, be available, give up your free time to make things right for your employer. You can’t pawn things off to others or let things go over the weekend–you have to be ready to deal with issues, and now, as well as you can.

3. Give up your personal time

If you’re not just a hobby wahm, and don’t just make a semi-part-time income doing small projects every once in a while, then you’ve likely got a full plate that takes up your entire day and then some.

Most people who work at home for a living are constantly working, and don’t often get days off, holidays, sick days, or even vacations. I can’t remember the last time I went out of town and didn’t have to get online at least twice to do follow-ups, editing, or some form of team management.

When I said that having the versatility of being able to work whenever there’s internet isn’t always a blessing, this is what I was talking about. As long as you have service, internet, or even pen and paper ready, there’s really no excuse not to be working if you have the time and work needs to be done. At least that’s how I see it, and I’m not one to let things go until Monday. If I get an email at 6pm on Friday, even if I have plans, I either cancel or work well into the middle of the night to get whatever needs to be done completed (or at least prepped for someone else).

Most people don’t think they’d miss a 9-5 for the chance to sleep in, work whatever hours they want, and still manage to get in a little fun. That is the ONLY thing I miss about working in a cubicle–being able to wait out the clock and leave all thoughts of work behind. Having my weekends to myself to do anything–go camping with no service, go out of town, stay in bed watching Dawson’s Creek and eating… whatever.

4. Forget anonymity, autonomy

There is some autonomy in content writing, I admit. Get an assignment with a deadline, write it as soon as you can, move along to the next. But each and every one of my writers is accountable for every article they send my way.

Does it need edits? Does it not make sense? Is it too formal, opinionated, jargon-y, or poorly put together? There is nowhere to point the finger when the name attached to the article is yours. You can’t disappear and try again tomorrow, or next week. If I need something changed by a due date, I trust the writer to still get it to me on time. If there are issues or questions, I trust the writer to ask before getting too close to a deadline.

There’s a lot of mental preparation that goes into truly working, full time, from home. Thankfully the whole point of working from home, at least in the beginning, is to change your lifestyle, switch up your income, and explore your talents in a new way.

Freelancing isn’t for everyone, and most people can’t handle the pressure, the tight schedules, and the ridiculous amount of responsibility that comes when you’re actually relatively successful. I’ve actually failed many times at this, not able to withstand having to constantly be working, or ready to work at a moments notice–even in the middle of the night. The stress gave me panic attacks.

But at least for now, I’ve figured it out.

It’s like we’re all idiots.



We’ve all got something, that one thing that drives us and shakes us up so much that we can’t believe the rest of the world doesn’t experience it too.

There are so many cultures and subcultures and diversions that, well, I’ve gotten a bit Sherlock about it all. And the BBC show Sherlock has really gotten to me.

For years (really YEARS) I didn’t get it. How could  show with 3 measly episodes become so powerful, so amazing, so enthralling that its fanbase rivaled BTVS and LOTR? Perhaps not rivaled, but ranked up there with the best of them? I just couldn’t understand it. So I ignored it. For years.

A couple weeks ago I finally took the plunge. I figured that, well, I might as well give it a shot.

It seriously changed my life, put so many things in perspective, and really shook me to the core.

I don’t want to get all fangirl on WordPress, especially after purposely moving this blog from my account Loves Fanfiction, but I have to say it–I’m in love with Sherlock and John Watson, and not as a pairing or because they’re real slick. I’ve watched so many TV shows, watched so many movie series where I know so much about the storylines and have gotten so used to the predictability of the dramas and relationships that I never look forward to seeing anything besides what happens next. I don’t really care about the characters, I just want to get to the good stuff, the story, the resolution of the end of the last episode or the last scene of the previous film.

I’m the ultimate HP fangirl–everyone knows that. I’ve dedicated whitepapers, essays, presentations, my college career to sharing fan-created stories and artwork, and how powerful it is. How addicting it is to know that there never ever has to be an ending. That nothing’s ever set in stone.

I remember the excitement at seeing the second Harry Potter film, the Chamber of Secrets, even more so than seeing the first. It was because I’d spent so much time reading the books, studying the characters and scenes, and watching and re-watching the first movie, that I just couldn’t wait to see Harry again. I couldn’t wait to see Hermione, and Dumbledore, and the Weasleys.

After the first episode of Sherlock, I was hooked. I just can’t believe how hooked I was, how much I was anticipating the next episode. And not to see what happened next (because I didn’t have any idea), but to see Sherlock and Dr. Watson again, together, interacting, relating, shifting. And then after I saw the second, it was again with the third episode. It was my little end-of-the-week treat, to absorb myself in the characters, not the story, again. Their relationship is so instant, and John is such a wonderful facility in Martin Freeman. The doubt, the awe, the thoughtfulness… Being a mental slave to Sherlock like the rest of us but still having so much of his attention, the attention everyone wants from the ones they admire.

I think I got lucky though. I held off watching for so long that, unlike the rest of the world, I finished the second season just as the earth-stopping first episode of the third season debuted. That was actually just a few days ago, on PBS.

To know that people, even the actors themselves, have literally been waiting for 2 years for the next chapter is beyond me. I’d die. I’d write a few hundred thousand words of fanfiction first, but then I’d probably combust. Not just because of the beyond major cliffhanger, but because of how much I’d miss seeing them together. Just the day or so I waiting before watching the latest episode on TV was too long.

I was literally smiling the entire time, just to see John again. Just to see Sherlock put his coat back on again, and their electrifying chemistry again. Seriously, you can’t write the chemistry they have. It’s heartbreaking magic.