Working a Separate Job While Pursuing the Freelance Life

Are you working as a full-time writer, meaning that you are earning a full-time living? Or are you working part-time doing something else while you write on the side?

Many writers I know work part or even full-time jobs in a non-writing capacity, and then write on the side. I also hear some writers say they are “full time writers” when really they have a spouse or some other form of income they are living off of. But what I’m talking about here when I say “writing full-time” is a full-time income, either as a freelancer or author, or some combination of the two.

When I tell people I write full-time, I usually get a mixed response. On one hand, people think it’s cool because you can pretty much get up at any time you like and work whenever. On the other hand, people picture actually sitting in a chair for several hours a day and writing, and they go “ick.”

In terms of building a writing business, working part-time is not a bad way to go. I did this myself. I worked part-time and did freelance part-time. I built up my clients slowly. But what about keeping a part-time job, and part-time freelancing for the long haul?

I think there are definitely advantages to taking on only a few clients and supplementing income by working a part (or even full) time job. Working part-time as a writer may be a foreign concept to the freelancers currently starting out, but if a writer reassesses his or her lifestyle and financial goals, the ability to write part-time may fulfill their creative desires.

Part Time Hours Means Less Lower Paying Writing Work
When freelancers are starting out, they often need to take on more menial writing tasks in order to make ends meet. Even seasoned full-time freelancers need to supplement their bigger clients with smaller jobs here and there. By creating a goal to have a part-time writing career, the financial pressure is lifted somewhat. While part-timers still need to send query letters and get clients, they also have income from another source outside of writing.

Part Time Jobs Can Take the Mind Away from Freelance Writing
Getting a break from writing can be a very healthy thing. When a freelancer goes full-time he or she may feel burned out by the long hours and the constant need to be creative all day. Creativity can become a chore rather than a pleasure.

If someone has a part-time job, however, they get a break from writing occasionally. Depending on the type of job they do, freelancers may even think of more ideas while at their second job than they would have if they’d been sitting at their desk all day. This type of schedule can help with freelancer burnout and keep enthusiasm about writing strong.

Part Time Work Can Help With Freelancer Weight Gain and Loneliness
One of the things no one really talks about with freelance writing is loneliness and weight gain. It’s easy to gain weight with a five-minute commute. Unless a freelancer makes an effort to keep the weight off, pounds can creep on very easily simply because the writer is not walking to their office, to coworkers desks, to their car at night, etc. With a part-time job, however, writers are forced to be more active.

The same is true for loneliness. While some writers head to the coffee shop when they are feeling lonely, a part-time job would help them connect with other people. That way when they do have time alone to write, it feels like a treat rather than a negative thing.

Every freelancer needs to do what’s right for their family and themselves. There is no right or wrong way to run a freelance writing career. Every single person’s idea of success is different. Working part-time as a freelancer may suit the goals of some writers.

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