I don’t know how many times I run into writers who are frustrated because their friends and families don’t think they have any work to do. As a matter-of-fact, I’m one of them! The funny thing about it all is that while others are sleeping, I’m usually up working to meet deadlines, because freelancing – as all writers in the same boat know, can be a 24-hour nonstop job with its own set of pressures and demands.
It gets a little foggy when you speak about who “they” are, because it could be a number of people that don’t understand what writing for a living really entails. Although a number of businesses have moved away from thinking people who don’t have a brick-and-mortar office are complete goof-offs, it definitely makes a difference when you can say, “come to my office,” instead of “let’s meet at Starbucks.”
It’s time for EVERYONE to get on the !@#$!#$ bandwagon and start appreciating what we do. It’s not easy dealing with clients – especially the ones that send an item back for revisions and the only issue is a comma – that really doesn’t go in that space! Sometimes I wonder when the midday requests to go and pick up someone’s sick kid, or take someone’s car to the repair shop for them while they are at work will stop, because frankly, I have my own work to do.
Whenever I’m looking at the forums and I see someone ranting about how their family doesn’t understand that they do have a real job, I smile because we’ve all been there, even though those bill payments, groceries, trips or fun days out don’t just magically appear. It’s difficult to do what we do, and all those naysayers should try it sometime and see if they can get the job done. A good writer is skilled and knows their craft, but it’s not until you tell someone to give it a try that people really stop taking you for granted.
As I’m sitting here writing, my phone is ringing as it usually does, because of course, “they” always think you’re available, even if you establish your own personal office hours. Will things ever change? Maybe in the wonderful world of business, but when dealing with your own people, the jury is still out. I would say just grin and bear it, but that’s way too cliché and I’m not subscribing to that mindset either.
Maybe if we all came together and had a “this is what we do so leave me the hell alone conference” they would actually get it. Well … maybe not but the thought was nice. So, the next time someone questions what you do as a freelance writing professional, you can tell them, one in three American workers are freelancers, and I’m one of them. Guess what? They may actually get it.
Writer Bio: Allaire W is a professional writer with a love for the written word and a sweet tooth that turned a hobby into a business. You can find her “cooking” up assignments while covered in cake batter.