Five reasons why I love being a freelance writer

It's no secret that I love writing. From text messages and Tweets to new releases and blogs, writing takes me to a happy place. After growing up with a love for reading and writing, it's only natural that I turn it into a career as a writer. Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life, they say. Here are five reasons why I'm living a life I love as a freelance writer.

I LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY

Being a writer is the reason I know more than I’d like to about politics. It’s also the reason I know how to do a proper deadlift, obtain a small-business loan and stage my home for sale. My clients span a variety of industries, and I literally never stop learning. As I perform research for each blog post, landing page and brochure, I soak up everything I learn to be able to translate it back to my client’s audience. I’m a firm believer in life-long learning, and luckily life-long writing allows me to execute my belief perfectly.

WRITING ALLOWS ME TO ESCAPE

When I put my writing cap on, I enter another world. I don’t have an actual hat…yet, but I’m still able to zone in on my work. I switch my phone to silent, turn the radio off, insert ear plugs and drift away. My fingers fly effortlessly over the keyboard with what feels like a magical force. No, I’m not a wizard, Harry. But I know the importance of getting in the right headspace to write. And it allows for a nice little escape.

When I’m distracted, each word is painful to write and the end result is sub-par by my standards. But when I’m in the zone, I get it all down and I don’t stop until I’ve expelled everything. Only then do I stop to edit. Pro tip: get all your words out before you edit. Leave the typos and the grammar errors as they are until you’ve got all the words down on paper. The last thing you want to do is interrupt your magic because you forgot a comma in paragraph one.

I GET TO TELL STORIES

I started my career in journalism because I loved storytelling. I also loved reading stories. I wanted to be able to write the stories that other people were reading. I remember being a newspaper journalist and watching people read my articles while I sat next to them on the subway. I had to resist the urge to poke them and quietly say, “Hey, I wrote that.” But Lord knows I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.

Today, I still do some journalistic writing, but writing (regardless of medium) is always about storytelling. Whether it’s a blog post, email campaign or web page that I’m writing, content needs to be presented logically to the reader. To create that connection with the audience, I often tell a story or outline a process that evokes an emotion. I might not be a full-fledged journalist anymore, but I know the importance of storytelling. I still get to write stories every single day, and people out there are reading them. I’ve stopped poking people on the subway, though.

READING BOOKS IS CONSIDERED “RESEARCH”

To keep myself up to speed with a rapidly changing industry, I’m always immersing myself in the latest books, blogs, magazines and newsletters. I want to stay on top of the latest news and trends, in order to deliver the best-quality content to my clients. As a complete bookworm, this is heaven for me. I read equally as much as I write and I totally get to call it research.

That romance novel? Research for a book-editing client. The blogs about Instagram? Research for a social media client. That issue of Vanity Fair? Well, maybe that one isn’t research, but reading other people’s writing always helps to improve my own. And if the writing sucks, then it gives me a chance to put on my proofreading hat and politely brainstorm how I would improve it. It’s a great mental test. Give it a try!

I CAN WRITE ANYWHERE I WANT

With the power of notebooks and pens, I can write literally anywhere I want. Full disclosure: I never write in the bathroom. Because boundaries. But what I’m saying is, you don’t always need your computer, tablet or smartphone at hand to write. We have paper, pens and pencils, people! Don’t forget about them in this digital age.

Keep a notebook in your bag, next to your bed and near the TV. When an idea comes to you, jot it down. Feel like ranting? Write it down. Heck, sometimes the stories I write in my head are the ones likely to win an Academy Award. And, I can write those ones anywhere. Even in the bathroom.