I’m starting a regular post in this blog and I’m calling it “Featured Freelancer.” For many of us who are new to this work-from-home thing, freelancing can be lonely, so I’m always on the lookout for kindred spirits like me, freelance editors and writers who are dealing with the same issues that I face every day. If you’re an independent professional like me, I hope reading the stories of other freelancers makes you feel less lonely.
My first featured freelancer, Ariel Price, has been working independently for almost a year. A freelance editor who works from home, she specializes in editing fiction, Christian fiction and nonfiction.
Ariel started working independently after she interned for two freelance editors. “I really enjoyed the freedom I had and the thought of being able to accept a broader range of clients,” she shared.
While it has been less than a year, Ariel has no regrets. “Like any business, it takes a lot of consistent work, but I’m in this for the long haul,” she said.
Ariel shares three things she loves about working as a freelance editor:
- Collaborating with talented authors and editors. “Working with creative, bright people makes my job so much fun!”
- Being your own boss. “I don’t have a problem with procrastination; I am a self-motivator and enjoy the discipline it takes to get up every day, dress professionally, and get to work.”
- Exploring uncharted territory, within limits. “I love that through freelance editing, I have the freedom to be flexible so I can meet the needs of authors. I also love that organizations like the Editorial Freelancers Association, as well as other editors, are there to support me and guide me.”
As with any other job, working freelance also has its disadvantages. For Ariel, it’s having to manage accounts. Fortunately for her, she married a finance guy who helps her with her taxes (I only wish it were the same for me!).
Another challenge about working as a freelancer is that work follows you wherever you go, Ariel said. “It’s tempting to work too much, allowing work to cut into valuable time with my husband or just by myself.”
Like any other freelance professional, Ariel has to deal with the risk of not having work. “There are times of feast and times of famine—I just try to be smart and plan for those times when business is slow.”
I asked Ariel three questions I’ve always wanted to ask other independent professionals (but was too shy to):
What are your interests outside of work?
Playing piano, singing, reading for pleasure, watching old movies, and going on walks.
Do you still dream of going back to a corporate setup?
I miss working around other people; sometimes staying home all day gets discouraging. But I don’t miss not choosing my own work and having to abide by rules I don’t necessarily agree with.
What’s a typical day at work for you?
I cannot work without my laptop and a beverage. I start the morning with a cup of coffee, switch to water, have a glass of iced tea (or two) after lunch, and finish with more water. I must be sufficiently hydrated…and caffeinated. I also prefer to have my Chicago Manual of Style and Oxford American Dictionary near me, but I’ll usually leave those tomes at home if I choose to work at a coffee shop, which I do often. Contrary to many other editors and despite the fact that I love music, I don’t like listening to music while I work. I’m too tempted to sing or hum along, and I get distracted. Silence or meaningless background noise helps me concentrate. Currently my favorite workplace is Starbucks, because of the cheap, delicious iced tea and free Internet.