5 Signs You've Been Freelancing Too Long

Not that there's anything wrong with it, but you might have been freelancing for a really long time. When you do anything for an extended period of time, you end up with a sort of tunnel vision. You forget what it's like for other people to experience things different from what you experience. Have you reached that point with freelancing? Read this list and let me know where you fall.

  1. You try to buy your groceries with an invoice. You have to wait on payment, right? Why should everyone else operate differently? Unfortunately, your scrambled eggs are going to have to wait until you can plunk down cash or at least credit for them. Sorry.
  2. You're baffled by your friends' inability to grab a coffee with you at 3:14 PM. I know that you can pretty much step out whenever you need to during the day–not that you should if you want to remain focused–but most of them will get fired if they leave for any random reason. There's still this pervasive belief that people are productive from 9 to 5 and should be kept caged up to harness that energy, believe it or not.
  3. You're insulted when you can't get FedEx and UPS into a bidding war with one another. It might seem a bit odd but a lot of times, the listed price is not up for debate. I know it's really unfair, but at the same time, them's the breaks. Personally, I would love it if I could get those two jerks to offer better service by fighting one another, but it just isn't going to happen. Yes, you still have to scramble with other writers to bid on jobs, but those same businesses will ask FedEx gladly how much it costs to have their package destroyed, then delivered at a terrible hour. What? I'm not angry that I missed a package yesterday. Shut up.
  4. You're sad to find that no one knows what the hell Rachel Ray did that day. If you care so damn much, buy some of your friends a TiVo. Or stop caring what happened on a talk show and work without distractions, nerd.
  5. You find that going to the bank, the post office, or any other store with window service is horribly inefficient. Yes, you are fortunate enough to be able to run errands during the day. That doesn't mean that everyone else can, so that's why you have to wait in line for one teller to check through you, fifteen old ladies, and Stephen Hawking. Hope you brought a book.

Do you have any signs that you've been freelancing too long? Let me know in the comments below.

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Clint Osterholz is a freelance writer who thinks he's awfully funny, and is surprisingly not a disappointment to his parents. You're always free to check out his portfolio if you'd like someone to be funny, or maybe write something a little more serious. Subscribe to my posts (only posts from this author).

10 thoughts on “5 Signs You've Been Freelancing Too Long”

  1. HATE the window thing. HATE it. Hate also those “friends” who call and say “Hi! I have the day off! What are you doing? Wanna come over and hang out?” Bite me. I’m on deadline!

  2. I’ll admit I occasionally dream of a “simple” job where I don’t have to think and organize so much. Wouldn’t it be great to go and sit around the office on someone’s nickle and dime for about eight hours and then come home and get a paycheck. No fuss, no muss. I had a job like that once. It paid very well for fifteen minutes of work each day and then I had to look busy the other 7 hours and 45 minutes. It was a very stress-free time though – I was just bored to tears.

    So maybe I’ll continue the madness of freelancing. It might be a totally different lifestyle, but at least I don’t have to waste time looking busy. (For the record, I left that job for teaching which involves few dimes and lots of busy. 🙂 )

    • I don’t think I could handle a job that bored me like that. As much as freelancing and Web publishing drive me crazy from time to time, I much prefer it to twiddling my thumbs. Nothing in this world makes me more unpleasant than boredom. Yes. I can indeed get more unpleasant. 😉

  3. You forgot “Not remembering traffic.” Although I take a lot of conference calls and have tons of deadlines, I almost never have to BE somewhere on time anymore. So the concept of traffic making me late is now foreign to me. In fact, if I happen to be out during rush hour, I’ve been known to say “Where are all these people going?” And then I remember: To and from their jobs!

    • lol I do the same thing. Occasionally I’ll decide to run out for dinner around 5 or 6. There’s a stretch of highway that gets backed up badly. I’m just so used to it being clear all day that I forget all about rush hour, and then get pissed sitting there with all the merging leading up to a light at the edge of town. I mean, don’t they know the roads are supposed to be clear when I want to go somewhere? 😉


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