Disclaimer: In no way is this post a means to throw shade, but I get asked often if I’m still freelancing for certain media sites and my answer is NO. I’m just putting it out there for inquiring minds before I get started.
Monday mornings, 3-5 pitches a week, research, deadlines, and pay per work contracts were a normal part of my daily routine as a freelancer. I would have to brainstorm 3-5 pitches each Monday to send to my editor for approval. There were days when my “word well” ran dry and I found myself surfing the web and other media sites targeted to my audience to see what was popular or trending. I would even use personal experiences and encounters as the basis for many of my articles.
There are several perks to freelancing should you decide to make a living out of it, but there’s also a high level of discomfort and unrest when trying to make it your sole means of income. First, the perks…you in a way work for yourself. You create your pitches and sometimes when you find yourself stump on ideas, they’ll provide some for you. You can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access.
On the downside, however, you are working for someone else when it comes to getting paid, although you can freelance from anywhere in the world as long as there’s internet access, you can’t really afford to be anywhere in the world other than home or local because you just don’t get paid enough with these pay-per-work contracts. Worst of all, you don’t get paid when you’re supposed to.
Whenever you sign a freelance contract, there are pay dates. Some freelancers get partial payment if it’s a one time project and will get the rest at the completion of the project. Some freelancers get paid bi-weekly just as a regular employee and then some get paid an accumulated sum of money for the work they’ve done for the month. Finances are unpredictable. You save, but then an unexpected bill surfaces, or you have to tap into emergency funds or you’re expected to get paid on a certain date per your contract, but when it doesn’t happen it messes up your entire flow. I found myself there all the time. Pushing deadlines, trying to keep my content creative and original, late nights because I can’t seem to get what’s in my head onto the computer screen only to be told that my payment will be late without even knowledge of when I can expect it by. So I’ve found myself in the red with so many bills, things getting cut off, subscriptions being cancelled, not being able to pay for things because I couldn’t get paid. We’re halfway into October and I’m just receiving payments from July. I haven’t even gotten August’s payment and I have no idea when I will.
So my logic is…you want your work on time? Pay me on time? Other wise I can do this s**t for myself.
What am I doing now?
My own s**t. I’m resurrecting this blog site after a two month hiatus. I’m editor in chief of Black Girl Magik where I’m managing writers and contributors. I’m also editing a teen fiction manuscript. At the end of the day, you can’t make people appreciate your work and your time, but you can do that for yourself.