Becoming a Freelance Writer: The First Two Months

Three months ago I finished university.

A week later I became a bicycle courier.

Two weeks after that, I quit and moved to Nottingham.

That's when I became an actual, proper, real-life writer.

I've been working as a full-time freelancer (yes, that's a thing) for a couple of months now. My job is to write whatever needs writing, be it a video script or blog post. I work for a digital marketing company, so they have clients that range from luxury cruise providers to chartered accountants.

It's varied work, and most of the time it's pretty interesting. I say 'most of the time' because occasionally I get bogged down in admin. That's the case with most jobs, I guess, so I'm not complaining.

Being a full-time freelance writer is weird. I always told myself I wouldn't go back to an office job after having one, on and off, for four years. Now that I get to work from home, I've forgotten what a structured day looks like. Sometimes I get up at 7 and pump out a blog post before breakfast. Other times I sleep in until 10 and finish work at midnight.

Self-discipline is the hardest part. For me, 'going to work' consists of moving to a different room in my house and turning on my laptop. Separating work and leisure is difficult when they exist in the same room. I've tried working in my local library, but the noise and unreliable internet were too much for me. Ideally, I'd like a co-working space to go to every day, but my funds won't stretch that far at the moment.

As a cyclist, I've also found it hard to strike a balance with my bike. You might think that, since I work remotely (and don't have set hours) I'd be out there every day. Well, that's the dream. I find myself feeling guilty if I go out riding before I've finished my allotted hours. The result is that I ride far less than when I was at university.

In truth, all of my issues come down to separating work from the rest of my life. With a regular 9-5 job, I'd know that, when 5 o'clock comes around, I'm free to do whatever I like. As it is, I'm never truly finished, so I don't know when I'm 'allowed' to go out and ride. That distinction is in my head, of course, but it makes it no less of a barrier.

I'll keep this blog updated with my thoughts on freelance life as often as I can. I know there are a million other blogs about the various crises of writers, photographers and designers, but I ain't done one yet. And that makes all the difference.