Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Last clarifications on freelancing

My days in “self-employed” category have officially begun. I thought I had blogged enough about the nature of my freelancing arrangement, but clearly not, for people still mail/come up to me with reactions ranging from:

(portentously) “Be careful boss, it’s a big bad world out there; you’ll spend half your time running after cheques, and eventually starve to death”


(tee hee hee-ly) “Ooh, you’re so lucky, you’ll have so much free time now!”


Clarification 1: This isn’t one of those cases where “freelancing” equals “financial uncertainty”. The bulk of my work will still be for Business Standard: I have a contract that specifies what I’ll be doing for them on a monthly basis, in exchange for a salary that more than covers what I was getting from them as a regular employee. So I’m more than secure on that front. Whatever I make from other freelancing assignments can be treated as a bonus, at least in the initial months (after which greed and ambition will set in, and I’ll take on more and more assignments just for the money, and the quality of my work will nosedive, and I’ll become the Times of India).

Clarification 2: I’m lucky alright, but not because I’ll have more free time - quite the contrary, I’m now going to be doing a greater quantity of work than I was earlier; that’s something implicit to this arrangement. The good thing about it is, I’ll largely be able to manage my time the way it suits me to. Won’t be tied any more to a depressing daily routine where I have to spend a certain amount of time parked in front of the computer in office, regardless of whether I’m feeling productive during those hours (and as anyone knows, much of that time is spent chatting/putting up with colleagues/removing ant carcasses from the vending-machine tea anyway).

Clarification 3 (in response to the most ridiculous statement that has come my way – “your life is going to be so relaxed now!”): If you think self-discipline is “relaxed” and “easy”, try it for yourself. To be honest, I’m pretty scared about some aspects of this thing, including the solitariness involved in being cooped up at home for long stretches, with a lugubrious Pomeranian howling ballads in the next room. So the knowledge that my computer in office stays in place, and I’ll be able to come in whenever I want to, is a big security blanket. Should help preserve sanity.

Clarification 4: No, this won’t give me more time for blogging, exactly the opposite. A lot of my blog-writing in the past has been done during those long, vacant hours in office between assignments/page-making. The extra time I get with this new arrangement will probably be spent in reading/watching films/meeting people. So the blog will increasingly become a storehouse for my published work, with fewer original posts than before. (Or at least that’s what I’m claiming now, don’t know if I’ll be able to de-addict so easily!)


  1. Having been on both sides of the fence, I understand your predicament.

    For all the security that a full time job brings, I still miss the whole "ME BEING MY OWN BOSS" thing about freelancing.

  2. good luck

    if you have any wisdom on the self-discipline thing let me know.

    its 2.15 in the afternoon here and i have been reading blogs all morning instead of thinking of and writing out the stimulus materials for my identifiability and diffusion of responsibility experiment!


    ps : why dn't you do (or do you) a lucy kellaway-ish column in the BS?

  3. Thanks Neela. No, no wisdom to offer on the self-discipline thing; like I said, I'm pretty scared about that on one level. Will have to take it as it comes I guess, and hope for the best. But the sense of independence is important enough for me to take the risk.

  4. Die penniless but don't become TOI

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  6. Anyway, its good to know you are still writing for the Business Standard.

    I was often appalled by the poor coverage of business and economic analysis in the business newspapers. You write well on the blog - I hope it translates into writing decent business articles (and no, I haven't read any of your articles in Business Standard - never read the BS when I was in India).

    Consider the Lucy Kellaway idea. I think you would do well at it.


  7. Neela: no, unfortunately it doesn't translate into good business articles - because I've never been any sort of corporate journalist at all. Joining BS was just one of those things that happened, and for the longest time I thought I'd made a really bad decision - though eventually it turned out for the best.

    Lucy Kellaway is a good idea, though I'm not in a hurry to take up any more columns than I already have! Maybe later.

  8. Hello and congrats for having such a well organized blog. I’ve been working as a freelancer for a few years now, and I gradually eliminated the flaws and mistakes any newbie freelancer makes. Here are some of my thoughts: there are plenty of freelancing websites that offer free subscription, so you can try your luck with one of those. Of course, if you want to have less competition and access to better paid projects, try a subscription paid web site. You can then select the categories where you believe you are skilled in. Ranging from coding, beta-testing, graphic and web design and going to translations, content writing and data base management, you will definitely find a freelance category that will go well with your skills.

    I also wanted to put together a free guide for beginners in the online freelancing world – you can check it out by reading my guide on the pros and cons of online freelancing I’d be happy to receive suggestions as to how to improve my guide and informative articles.


    Michael Rad
    Webmaster of www.Web2earn.com