Based in Chicago, Illinois, The Freelance Beat is a blog exploring the triumphs and challenges that freelance journalists encounter in their early and mid-careers.

5 Things I'm Thankful for as a Freelancer

5 Things I'm Thankful for as a Freelancer

Today, I will be headed back to Michigan to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family and take a much-needed break. I’ve been frantically trying to wrap up as much work as a can before I head home. I’ve missed my family very much, and I want to soak in as much of their love as I can before I return to Chicago.

Becoming a full-time freelancer has been a tough undertaking but a rewarding one nonetheless. I’ve been working on a couple longer stories in between the shorter ones. I’m also working on a longer-term project, the details of which I’ll reveal at a later time.

But this steady work without time off has weighed on me. It’s easy to get stressed out as a freelancer, a lot of work to manage with no coworkers or HR rep to consult. Drafts, Revisions, Invoices...

At times, it becomes overwhelming, but I’ve had to stop myself at times and remember the awesomeness of my life. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with freelance life, I return to these things for which I’m grateful:

Lake Michigan

If you’ve followed this blog, you may know that I like taking walks along the lakefront trail beside Lake Michigan. Listening to the waves crash into the concrete calms me.

My schedule

Now that I don’t have a commute, another hour of my time is freed up for exercise and extra sleep. (Okay, I’m an early bird, but I could take a nap if I wanted to.) If I need to schedule an impromptu hair appointment, pick up work with a new client, or grab an early lunch, I won’t have to clear it with anyone. When I scheduled my trip home, I realized that, for once, I’m able to stay without rushing back to Chicago.

My stories

If I had to choose one beat to cover, it would likely be technology. But a glance at my portfolio will show that my interests stretch across health, culture, business, finance, etc. I’m thankful for the flexibility in subject matter that freelancing gives me. Plus, I can pitch and write stories without restrictions, which is how I’ve gotten some of my most important stories published.

No office drama

One of the oddest parts of freelancing is not making any work friends. Thankfully, I’m part of several online communities where I can get swap stories and share advice. However, I don’t miss the office drama that comes with having a boss to report to and co-workers to navigate. I’ve met some of the closest friends I’ve ever had at work, but I’ve also met plenty of not-so-great people along the way. At least as a freelancer, I choose my workspace and my clients. I’m working with people rather than for them. Very different dynamic.

My support system

I have incredibly loving and patient loved ones. Whenever I’m having a bad day or I’m struggling with something, they’re a phone call away. And when I can, I try to be the same support system for them.

What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments or email me at

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