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5 Hidden Truths About Freelance Writing

Freelance writing as a job

Are you considering a career as a freelance writer? Perhaps you’ve heard about all the wonderful things that come along with this line of work, including the flexibility to set your work schedule and use your ability as a writer to earn a solid income. But, do you know what life as a freelance writer is like?

In this article, we’ll be detailing five of the most overlooked aspects of working as a freelance writer. Take these to heart if you’re thinking about leaping into writing for a living!

Freelance Writing: Hidden Truths You Should Know

Hidden Truth #1: The world doesn’t suddenly drop work into your lap once you decide you’re a freelancer.

This truth holds to virtually all kinds of freelance work, not just writing. When you choose to become a freelancer, you’re essentially putting the responsibility of finding the work, doing the work, and getting paid for the work all squarely on your shoulders. Gone are the comfy salary and the bi-weekly paycheck.

Hidden Truth #2: Some months can be great. Other months can be embarrassingly bad.

Many freelance writers will attest to this: writing gigs come, and writing gigs go. There’s so much unpredictability in freelance writing that it can get to be a bit too much for those who are new to it. The secret is to be smart about how you manage your money so that you can stand to go a month or two without much income and still survive.

Hidden Truth #3: It’s possible that you could end up paying more in taxes as a freelancer.

When you work for an employer that isn’t yourself, that employer generally pays for half of your social security tax for you. When you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for paying both halves of the social security tax, unless you happen to be above retirement age. Also, keeping track of your expenses and setting aside money to pay taxes at the end of the year become new priorities.

Hidden Truth #4: Not every client pays on time, and some don’t pay at all.

No matter how good you are at writing, you’re going to inevitably end up writing for a client that isn’t going to pay you. It may be because they suddenly run out of money for their project, or it could just be because they’re flaky. Regardless, freelancers end up writing off somewhere between 2-8% of their income simply due to bad debt.

Hidden Truth #5: There is no annual raise, performance-based bonuses, or employee achievement award.

When you’re a freelance writer, there are exactly two parties involved in your company: you, and your client. There is no middle management. There is no Human Resources department. It’s all you, and you need to be OK with this to thrive.

So, now that you’ve been informed on these five hidden truths about freelance writing are you still up for it? If so, go ahead and make the leap; don’t say we didn’t warn you!