The Downside of Working From Home As A Freelance Writer

Source

I have been drawn to write this hub due to a recent bout of illness which left me so incapacitated I could not write a single word. It made me think about the negative aspects of writing for a living particularly if you are a self-employed writer whose income is dependent on your output.

Fortuntely I still made a passive income from my writing directory hubs and articles but was unable to make a cent from my private work, which makes up approximately 65% of my income. If you don't work you won't get paid. It's as simple as that.

Therefore, I realised I have to have some sort of back-up-plan in place for such incidents. But what could I do? After researching I came up with these solutions which I am going to have in place if and when I fall ill again and cannot write.

  1. Create future contracts, whereby I submit my work a week in advance. If I am always ahead of the game a week's illness should not have such a serious impact.
  2. Pay another writer of a high calibre to write my hubs/articles and contract work. (i.e. share a percentage of my income for another person to complete particular piece of work) The Fiverr site comes in handy for this type of emergency as there are many excellent writers who can do my work only for $5.
  3. Insure my employment. There are various insurances available that cover you if you cannot work due to illness. But I will have to check whether this is a viable option as the premiums tend to be very high, and they impose many restrictions that it may not be worth insuring.
  4. Create a partnership with a fellow writer (someone who you know is the better option) whereby if either of you is ill or away on holiday the other will fill in and do the absent partner's work. I like the sound of this one and as it is under a written agreement there should be no arguments as to how much the the share for covering should be as you will have negotiated this before you sign the partnership.
  5. Contact the hirer, explain your position and offer to deduct a percentage of the fee to compensate for the delay in completing the work.

Source

Cons of Freelance Writing



If you decide to write for a living you must take into considration the cons about being a self-employed writer. Whilst being a writer sounds wonderful and gives you the freedom to work on your terms it is not always as glamorous as it is made out to be.

Be sure to research this form of employment as well as consider the following cons before you decide to take the plunge and become a full-time writer:

  • Isolation - Working by yourself is difficult and full-time freelance writing is hard and may not suit everybody. There are long periods where you are alone and this could hinder your drive and limit your productivity. Working from home in your pajamas sounds great but the reality is far from wonderful.
  • Discipline - Because you do not socialise and interact with others you have to be more focussed, determined and self-motivated. Most of all you have to be disciplined so that you can stick to time schedules. If you set your start time for writing as 9.a.m. make sure you start at 9.a.m. and not 11.am. If you decide to set the number of articles or hubs you intend to write per day at 3, make sure that within 24 hours you write 3 articles/hubs. You have to be disciplined.
  • Work Not Guaranteed - When you work as an employee you know you are guaranteed work but when you work for yourself you have to find work which is not always guaranteed. Sometimes there are plenty of opportunities but other times there could be less.
  • Find Your Own Work - When you decide to become a full-time freelance writer you have to find your own clients and work, which is completely different from being employed when the work is provided for you.
  • Monthly income inconsistent - In conjunction with inconsistent incoming work there is the inconsistent monthly income. Sometimes the work will come rolling in and you will make lots of money but on the flip side there may be some months where the work will not be flowing in so easily with the result that you do not make as much money as you did during the preivious months.
  • Accounting - If you are employed you don't have to be concerned about accounting or paying your taxes as this is taken care of for you. But as a full-time freelance writer this will be your responsibility as you are self-employed. However, if you are not good at this type of thing you could always mploy an accountant to do it for you.

So if you want to become a full-time writer you should take the aforementioned cons into consideration, and weight up whether it is the right route for you.

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Comments 42 comments

editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Oh I do sympathise, it must be difficult for you to be productive with your disability, but whatever you can muster to do each day is better than nothing. Although I understand that if you are feeling lousy the last thing you want to do is write.

Yes, I am feeling much better and able to write again. Thanks for the compliment.


stayingalivemoma profile image

stayingalivemoma 4 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

These are all great suggestions editorsupremo. Being disabled, I experience on an almost daily basis what you went through with your bout of sickness. It IS difficult to write when you don't feel good! But you seem to be doing fine now so, keep up the good work!! You are very inspirational!


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Life as a Blog.

You can find absolutely everything on Fiverr and even set up your own giggs to sell your writing skills. Give it a try.


Life as a Blog profile image

Life as a Blog 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

Excellent stuff, and great advice! I hadn't heard of The Fiverr before, but I'll definitely be checking it out. Thanks!


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

@ ronny2005 and nanderson500

Thanks for passing by and commenting on my hub. I hope I have not put you off ronny2005.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

That sounds brilliant naeemebrahimjee. Having sufficient work in advance is a good idea for those days when you otherwise engaged; and you seem to have that under control. Well done.


ronny2005 profile image

ronny2005 4 years ago from HubPages

Thanks for the advice and insight. Happy that i am not an employed freelance writer. Voted up and shared.


nanderson500 profile image

nanderson500 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

Good analysis of freelance writing. Nice job!


naeemebrahimjee profile image

naeemebrahimjee 4 years ago from London

Hi. I just came across your article. There are several points here i strongly agree with. Especially the concept of working ahead of schedule so if you are sick; you have extras to submit.

Myself I do a lot of writing; and i have a contract to publish an article daily. Meaning i need to output seven a week.

I have come to a good balance where I write one article every morning; and a second after lunch on weekdays. Weekends i don't write. I need distractions and a life away from my computer.

This means I produce ten articles a week even though i only need to submit seven.

This means (based on a exact 52week year of 364 days ... ) annually i produce 520 articles, 155 more then my requirement. This effectively means every year i have twenty two week's extra work!

This ensures i have enough cover if i'm sick; or travelling, or busy one day.

The only problem i find is that extra articles i write will become redundant if i don't use them after a certain amount of time. This is where hub pages comes in for me. It's a great place to upload your extras if you have them; and you can earn a few bob of them.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Yes Jellygator you will have to consider the good and the bad with freelance writing but if you organize your days effeciently it could be quite liberating. Good luck in your new adventure!


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Jainismus for your continued support of my blogs!


jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA

I'm pretty new to freelancing. This is some good food for thought!


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Thank you for sharing these useful tips. Voted up.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

It is tough in the beginning but gets easier as you learn more.

Thanks for following and I hope my hubs will continue to give you an insight on how to make money online.


Lovelovemeloveme profile image

Lovelovemeloveme 4 years ago from Cindee's Land

It's tough making a living online. Especially when one is starting out. Thanks for the hubs and secrets. I'm following you for weekly tips =)


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Isn't it a wake-up call when this sort of set-back happens? Thank goodness for Hubpages and the like for providing the passive income! Make sure you set-up a back-up-plan.


seotechnology profile image

seotechnology 4 years ago from India

I am a full time writer and I have experienced this issue last month. I was away from home for 3 days and when I came back I fell Ill. So I could not write for a whole week and the following week I could not work at the normal pace and fell short of payments.

As you rightly pointed out, we need to have a regular and sufficient passive income and Hubpages is a good place to start things.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

@starmom. No confusion, I agree with your comment that freelance writers are viewed in a negative light, it's not just you, sometimes I have to justify my work to people who don't see it as a real job.


Starmom41 4 years ago

@editorsupremo: oops, I hope there wasn't any confusion about my comment- I meant as a freelancer that's the kind of negativity I've been on the receiving-end of on a regular basis.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

@Starmont - That is definitely a negative portrayal of work from home writers, we're not goofing off, we're working!! As for self-employment it truly is complicated. I'm sure Inland Revenue make up these rules to confuse us. I think I will add a section to this hub about accounting. Thanks for commenting.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Christy. I had a really bad bout of flu and could not lift my head off the pillow, let alone open my laptop to do some hubbing! But I well again and ready to be productive.


Starmom41 4 years ago

from my perspective, the only drawbacks are a) people think you're goofing off, and also that you have unlimited free time; and b) dealing with self-employment taxes is much more complicated than tax prep. for regular outside jobs.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

You are right about work not being guaranteed. I am glad you are feeling better now and are back to contribute! I vote up and will share too.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

I totally agree with you Chris, I find I am always justifying my work - and I'm not just watching replays on my laptop!The family just do not see it as real work. I suppose when I get that elusive 6 figure contract they will then take notice.

Thanks for the support and vote up!


chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

I think one of the hardest things, especially in the beginning, is simply convincing friends and family (and even yourself) that your job is actually a job - that you're not just lounging on the couch with your laptop.

Thanks for the reminders to treat work like work and be productive...speaking of which, why am I hub-hopping when I should be writing?

Another great hub, DeAnna. Voted up and useful. Aloha =)


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thank you penlady. You obviously understand and know about the cons of being a freelance writer, but your penultimate sentence says 'if it all, 'it it's their God given talent, they they will succeed at it, even against all the cons'.


penlady profile image

penlady 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA

This hub is absolutely true! I try to take care of myself to ward off being sick for the sake of my income. However, sometimes you just can’t help it. In such case, a backup plan is a splendid idea. Fiverr is a suggestion that I like as part of a back-up plan.

You made a valid point in stating the being a freelance writer isn’t as glam as people think it is. Given this fact alone, people should consider all of the points you made in regards to whether or not they want to enter this career. However, if it’s their God given talent, then they will succeed at it, even against all the cons.

Great hub. Voted up and useful.


Deep Metaphysical profile image

Deep Metaphysical 4 years ago from India

No, it doesn't at all. I am a natural writer I think. So, I don't try too hard. If it's meant to be written by me it'll be written by me. That's how I deal with that. :)


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thank you rfmoran.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Yeah Deep Metaphysical, having to work to someone else's schedule is not the type of work I prefer either. I prefer to work on my own terms and choose the hours I work. How do you deal with your undisciplined approach to writing? Does it affect your productivity?


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Yes Ruby if you don't work there is no pay, so taking time off is nie on impossible!

Thanks for your support and vote up!


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

I hear what your saying nybride710. I know I could not face that awful commute to the city, packed like canned sardines on the train. Do not miss that at all! The freedom of being a freelance writer is worth it, but as you say, we're lucky in that we have husbands that have good jobs. I couldn't do it either if I didn't have a hubby working full-time.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks billybuc. I totally agree with you, giving up a percentage of your income is worth it if you can at least get some sort of pay rather than nothing at all.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

You're welcome Mhatter99.


rfmoran profile image

rfmoran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

Thanks for sharing your thoughts DeAnna, thoughts that many a writer has from time to time. I think your plan for the future is sound.


Deep Metaphysical profile image

Deep Metaphysical 4 years ago from India

I can agree with all the pros and cons of freelance writing from home. I have worked with a couple of online writing companies. It's convenient, you get to work per your schedule. But eventually you feel isolated and get bored. The inconsistent income part is a company based issue. One of the companies I worked with(still do sometimes) always had a lot of work. But I still prefer a work at home job, because even though I'm not lazy, I'm quite undisciplined. So considering that part, I would really like a work at home writing job, rather than a desk job or office job which requires me to wake up every day at a specific time. Good hub.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

I know what you mean! Seems like there is no way to take a day off!

I love your ideas, as some days I am incapable of executing the work that needs to get done to get paid. Wonderful topic, voted up and shared!


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 4 years ago from Minnesota

I agree with this list, but I could still never go back to the workaday world. The freedom is so worth it. But, I can say that because I have a husband with a good job and a savings account. I couldn't do this work without either of those things.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I have been doing this for close to two years now and your list of negatives and concerns are very valid. Most of my SEO work is a week in advance so I have some leeway on deadlines, but the idea of having a back-up plan is a good one. Having a skilled writer in the wings is the ultimate in back-up plan. Better to pay a percentage to your sub than to lose all income. Great hub!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this insight. Though not exactly the same, our situation is very similar.


editorsupremo profile image

editorsupremo 4 years ago from London, England Author

Barbergirl28 full-time freelance writing is not for everyone and whilst there are many pros there are also numerous cons. I started out writing as a hobby but circumstances led me into full-time writing. I do love it and I suppose like any employment you have to take the good with the bad.

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I am glad that I am not an employed freelance writer. I look at it this way... mine is more of a hobby. If I make some extra cash while I am there... then I am happy. I wish you the best of luck.

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