/ Quitting the day job and going freelance
About six weeks ago I made the decision to quit the day job and begin a career as a freelance editor and proofreader. This is a profession which will work with my writing rather than against it.
To be honest I have no idea why it took me this long to make the jump, but now that I'm working from home full time (and already have several jobs in the pipeline) I realise it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I doubt it will be roses all the way, but I'm loving the sense of freedom. It also feels good to be doing work that matters to me and that I'm actually good at.
This is not a "should I go freelance?" post — this is "I've gone freelance and am finding my feet."
Anyone else made a similar jump recently? Any hints to share about finding work, managing time, or juggling projects?
Oh — and if you have any work that needs editing, give me a shout! My rates are affordable. Here is my new business website: www.pinnacleeditorial.co.uk
My advice would be to shamelessly plug your new business on an internet forum.
Wait a minute...
Good luck with it.
I was in the police for just over 6 years and I left to open a photography studio - 2 years later that studio folded and I am now freelance concentrating on weddings.
Best decision I ever made, I am however, for the moment less financially stable than I would like!
I've been freelance for about a year now. It's been steady so far in my niche of designing climbing walls. Been a little quite recently though but I'm sure things will pick up. I've been trying to spread out to doing more general architectural vis work which is what I like to do but it's hard on the marketing side of things in this neck of the woods.
You mean you are undercutting those of us who are already in the business?
I left the NHS after 27yrs to set myself up as a locum, and am enjoying every minute of it, doing what I'm good at with no poltics/targets issues!!
Now for the boring bit
You still have to pay the taxman and Employers and Employees NI contributions so remember to put some money aside.
A contingency fund is always usefull for "dry" periods.
When I first started, I never said "no" to any work, which resulted in near "burn out" at first, try and be a little selective and if have too much work on then do say "no" Its better to have a reputation of doing a quality job than pushing out rushed work
Do take holidays, it becomes easy to say "this is costing me twice as much as I am paying for a holiday and not earning" You need breaks.
I now know when my busy periods are so organise my breaks accordingly.
Hope this helps
Have fun and good luck
I'm sure you'll be very good at it, Alex. But it will probably be very financially tough. What you desperately need (and deserve) is some relatively huge success/es that'll help carry you through the difficult times. You've now got to focus very hard on how to make that breakthrough. I think your work is so strong that you should really be trying to get an agent, if you are not already.
I think I've had about 7-8 weeks 'holiday holiday', i.e apart from slightly extended Bank Holidays/ Xmas etc, in 40 years. It's all about pacing yourself.
Thanks, Gordon — that means a great deal.
Regarding my editorial business, I already have three prolific clients who will be sending me work at regular intervals, and am in talks with several more. This is a crucial stage in building up my portfolio of experience and getting clients on board. Fortunately I have a lot of contacts.
Regarding my writing, seeking an agent and a traditional publisher is certainly something I haven't ruled out, but I no longer see trad publishing as 'better' than self-publishing — they're just two different routes to the same end. I would have to give up a great deal of freedom and make many other compromises to become a traditionally published author, and I'm not sure I would end up earning any more.
I am, however, hard at work on a new book and will be issuing second editions of my existing titles in the near future (with new covers!) I will be using a different printing firm, too — IngramSpark, who can give me 55% discounts. This will give me the ability to get my books into a wider range of bricks-and-mortar bookstores.
That is through choice, presumably?
Yes. I like to be creatively occupied almost all of the time.
One would hate to think it was financially necessary.
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