When I started out as a freelancer 4 years ago, I had a full-time job, so my waking hours were meticulously accounted for: wake up 6:20am, leave house 7am, work 8am–4pm, get home 5pm, have dinner, freelance work.
I was also freelancing on weekends (sometimes pulling in 8-hour days) and trying to keep my friendships and relationship alive. Only after I left my day job did my husband (bless his patient soul) tell me that he was happy I no longer worked on weekends, as we could finally spend some time together… I nearly cried.
Once my day job (and my 1-hour commute) was gone out of my life, my schedule became much less structured. I work from a home office and I discovered I now have time to exercise; go on walks; work in my garden; practise my driving; meet friends for coffee; make new friends who, like me, have flexible working hours; go to the cinema during the day (it’s much quieter – and you get to hang out with other freelancers!); even, shock-horror, read for pleasure; and, you guessed it, write.
Suddenly, without an office job five days a week, work (and commuting) is no longer taking me 10 hours a day – and I spend the remainder engaged in other things, which can still be work-related (even this blog is), but don’t require me to work on a particular project. I suspect it is similar with other freelancers out there, whether you are in the editing line of work or not. Blogging is a form of interacting with others who we don’t have access to when we’re based at home; even if we don’t meet in reality (though there’s nothing stopping us from doing so! Come to your local SfEP group to get to know your fellow editors and proofreaders), we meet on the blog. As human beings we have an innate need to connect with others (though admittedly that need is more pronounced in some – remember that office chatterbox who would just never stop talking? Well, now she blogs ;)), and to me blogging is a way of engaging with virtual colleagues. I know you are out there!
So do you blog and if so, what’s your main motivation? Let me know in the comments section.