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.

Things freelancers don't want to hear

Things freelancers don't want to hear

I love the independence that freelancing gives me. I love having a say in how much money I make on each story and what kinds of stories I pursue. Even though more and more people are choosing to become freelance writers (reporters, bloggers, essayists, etc.), there’s still skepticism about freelancing.

I don’t think people get how hard it is to be responsible for the business and creative sides of an enterprise. But nonetheless, you get hit with silly questions or assumptions about what it means to be a freelancer. If you've freelanced for a while, you've probably heard some of these before:

Your payment is on its way.

Okay, but why isn’t it here already? If I met my deadline, can you meet yours? You’ll hear this from editors or the accounts payable department when you ask them about the fees they owe. While it’s comforting to know that the money is coming, I can’t take an I.O.U. to my landlord.


Can you send us your invoice again?

Thanks to my accounting software, I can see that you got the invoice the first time I sent it. I can see what day and what time you opened it, but sure I’ll send it to you again.


This isn’t a good fit for us.

I spent time looking at your site and saw similar stories there before sending this pitch. Maybe it was a misjudgment. Maybe I’ll see a similar story to the one I pitched a few weeks later....


We can’t pay you right now, but it’ll give great exposure.

You can get exposure and a paycheck. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. As a freelancer, you’re not just a writer. You're running a business. If you hear this, walk away. You can’t take exposure to pay for your rent, internet, or phone bill.


You must love working at home.

Yep. There's no office drama and I can customize my workspace however I want. I don’t have a commute every morning. But I’m still working. I’m not on vacation or something.





You probably work in your pajamas all day.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I save a lot of wear and tear on my clothes. But since I’m a reporter, I still leave the house for interviews. I’m not a total recluse, and I’m not on some glamorous getaway.


Is freelancing a real job?

Yes. In fact, it’s harder than you think, because on top of reporting and writing, your paycheck is unpredictable and you don’t have employer benefits. It’s not a life that many can handle long-term. So, it’s actually two or three jobs in one.


What are you tired of hearing as a freelancer? Drop a comment or email me at!



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