I’m currently sitting at a Starbucks downtown, but it feels as though I’m standing at the edge of a precipice. Of course, if I were actually on a cliff, I probably wouldn’t have a tall chile mocha beside me nor the soft acoustic sounds of coffee shop music floating along the airwaves, but still… the point is that I feel like I’m on a ledge somewhere and that I’m pretty unstable.
Don’t worry, I’m not totally depressed. It’s just that recently my job came to an end, and I haven’t had the best time dealing with it. Also, my ability to accept the uncertainties in life is nearly nonexistent. I want rules, guidance, and a plan! I know, not the most exciting personality type, but Capricorns need love too, guys.
So What’s Next?
Now that I’m on the job hunt again, I’ve discovered the most terrifying secret of all—what they don’t tell you when you graduate from college with a BA in Creative Writing: Freelancing is a viable option.
This, of course, should not be terrifying at all. It’s exciting to have the option of controlling your own schedule, workload, etc. But when I think about vying for assignments, managing my finances, and TAXES, I start to lose my shit. Like really lose my shit.
True story: last year I thought I owed the government $5,000. I, of course, have never even seen $5,000 so I was in a complete state of panic.
Turns out, I’d simply forgotten that I’d worked at a second company that year, and the government actually owed me money, but still. How the hell am I supposed to figure out what I owe who, where, and why if I’m a fuckin’ self-managing FREELANCER?
As I sit here typing away on my computer, I’m riddled with anxiety over whether or not this is my next step. There are pros and there are cons, and I can’t figure out which outweighs the other. I’m a writer; math is not my strong point. Or do you weigh things in physics? It doesn’t matter. I’m a basket case over here.
There’s something about the freelance lifestyle that just screams “author.” From Hemingway to my latest literary obsession, Karl Ove Knausgaard, creative writers tend to supplement their income with contract work on magazines and other word-driven companies. These are the people I admire. Not because they were great people. No, they had extreme problems of their own, but because they’re the ones who produced works that make you feel. I can honestly feel my heart beating as I read about the disturbing choices of a Karamazov brother or a Norwegian’s turmoil over Swedish culture.
Then there’s the biggest #Millennial point I could ever make: Over the last year and six months, I’ve struggled with the lack of PTO available to me. I’m not one to take advantage of vacation opportunities, and I’m actually a very nervous traveler… no surprise there… but I can’t deny the lust for travel that roams through my veins. I think it’s something most twentysomethings feel. We need to explore, experience what’s out there.
Freelancing would allow me to do this. I currently have a trip to Iceland planned, and honestly, if I had it my way, I’d choose to continue writing while there. Imagine this: My day is spent traversing unfamiliar landscapes to a waterfall that crashes down into a field of deep, lush greenery. Then, I’d return to my warm room or RV, and dive into whatever assignment awaited me. It’s perfection!
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay
Of course, if I’m being completely honest, getting back to work wouldn’t be that simple. After those hikes across grassy or rocky terrain, I’d probably return to whatever hotel I was staying in, and immediately gorge myself on food. They eat a lot of dairy there, right? That is not a good look for me… Then, of course, I’d have to make some instant coffee because sleep would have wrapped me in its all-encompassing grasp and my mind would beg for a break from copywriting.
But still, there’s something freeing about having the opportunity to write at any time and place. I know, I know, that’s why it’s called freelancing, but give me a break here. I’m having an existential crisis. And that fantasy of enjoying time away while still being active in this field, is dangerously seductive.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a blog about what’s happening in my mind if I didn’t immediately juxtapose these pros against the cons.
Like how ridiculously difficult it would be for me to stay organized. How in the world does anyone keep track of all of that information?! What solutions are there for someone like me? Someone who can barely remember what day of the week it is?
The thought of managing enough assignments to maintain my income—all in unique brand voices and with varying due dates—is terrifying! I mean, I once forgot how old I was… Is this really something I’m going to be able to do?
Of course, I’m not looking for answers here. In fact, I’m aware that there’s probably no one who can answer these except myself. Still, I had to throw them out there into the universe.
Will freelancing be next step? Am I on a brand new path?