##### Full Disclosure: This was originally meant to be a 3 part series. The first part has already been published on my blog here. There is a line which separates that from the rest of the article. ![Bench at the park.JPG](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmU95nxoZo7hcbzb9Sy5BYUrspR6Xn3msvureAYiBH3wqU/Bench%20at%20the%20park.JPG) *Bench at the Park* Image by @alliski f/3.5 1/3200 ISO-400 #CanonRebelEOS Digital # The Ugly, Irritating, and Mean ## So, I went to the #dentist the other day. In and of itself, this is a life event for me. I've managed to go my whole life having entered a Dentist’s office all of 3 times. I've also nearly made it to mid-30 with the one #cavity; my reason for my recent dentists visit. I'm obsessive about my teeth. I spent 5 minutes explaining why I feel the need to brush my teeth 5, 6, 9 times a day. But, again, that's another story which I'll consider telling later. ![Dentsist office fear.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmbwKC738C86TiFz5aTLuJ3ssxdHg3YGim8Y8XCois9URm/Dentsist%20office%20fear.jpg) *Dentist office Fear* Image by @alliski f/1.7 1/60sec ISO-64 SM-G930V 4mm ### Germaine Anyway, I was getting checked in. This was my first time to see this Dentist so there was a fair amount of intake paperwork. When the lady at the front desk with the beautiful name asked me who my employer was I said: *well, I work from home.* She smiled, laughed, and then joked that I was just rubbing it in to the tune of the commercial jingle. ### Which got me to thinking. I wasn't rubbing in anything. It's the answer she solicited. But, what struck me was my go to response. In all actuality, I held back my answer. But, my go to answer was still swirling around my mind. *Working from home, and being self-employed isn't all it's cracked up to be.* ### Don't get me wrong I love my job and I love what I do. ![Yellow Butterfly on my Hand.jpeg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmZ4FeqneLzmNpfcvugtdvGy1RWWdNHUj4VGYcnaVBMkoV/Yellow%20Butterfly%20on%20my%20Hand.jpeg) *Yellow Butterfly On My Hand* Image by @alliski f/1.7 1/376sec ISO-50 SM-G930V ### But it has its warts. I'm sure Sam and Dean love what they do- but the real-life side of the Winchesters is probably less warty than their fictional roles. I say this because the subjective perspective of what I do, and the objective reality are two completely different things. For those of us who are any good at and able to eek(ing) out any kind of humble living in this profession, the differences between the subjective perspectives objective facts are mutually exclusive. It all comes down to #perspective, #reality, and #personal-responsibility. ## Perspective ![Doorway.jpeg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmcuEEBznPb3kjHteMrjvdGSd8xSNPjfmSf7Jz8Qizbzo6/Doorway.jpeg) *Doorway* Image by @alliski f/1.7 1/380 sec ISO-50 SM-G930V I honestly believe that what my husband thinks I do is something akin to him posting on #TikTok. He loves TikTok. He’s having a lot of fun with that app right now. ### What he does is this: * Sits in his chair with his phone in his hand * His hearing is impaired from the 50-Cal he was assigned to in Iraq, so, of-course, the volume is up as high as it can go without the phone sending that warning about loud volumes. * He scrolls through his For You page and Following list looking for someone to Duet * When he finds a video he can *easily* duet, he runs into the laundry room. The laundry room is the room with the best lighting in our house. * A few minutes later, he comes out of the laundry room, playing his new video on a loop until I yield and watch it on my app. ### Now, don’t misunderstand me please. I love my husband dearly. But, in many ways he’s like a child. He needs lots of love and attention. He’s the youngest of 4 siblings, so… Going back to the original discussion. I honestly believe that my husband thinks that what I do is as simple as this. ### In his mind, * I sit at my desk, with my earbuds in. * I go through the list of open and available jobs until I find one I like * Since my desktop is an all-in-one behemoth, I can’t run off to the laundry room for light, so I make do with the lamp by my table. * I send in my qualifications, and BOOM. Just like that I have a paying job. The job itself is nothing, and doesn’t exist for him. Therefore, my task is done. I’m done working, and will get paid for this sometime in the next 10 to 14 days. Then there are my #in-laws. To them, I’m at home all day every day. In their minds, I don’t do anything. ### To make matters worse- I have #ADD. Those of you who have ADD understand this. I don’t #medicate. I never have, because the one medication that actually works for me without making me feel disconnected from my body is currently federally illegal. Like I said, my husband is like a child in that he wants attention. When I spend his days off at my computer working to meet deadlines, he gets lonely and jealous. So, he interrupts me. This is never done maliciously or abruptly. He’ll simply lean down to kiss me. Or he’ll stand in front of my desk staring at me until I look up. These interruptions may seem minor- but they’re catastrophic for someone with ADD. When I want to work, I have to put concerted effort into focusing on my task. When my focus is broken, even for a moment, I have to take more time to re-focus. #### A simple kiss can cost me an hour of work. _____________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________ # Reality ![Stairway in the Shade.JPG](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmUsfDMKmZvXYZc7KUUYWWbLXkK2JfcY4K7xqJ7H1x2kQp/Stairway%20in%20the%20Shade.JPG) *Stairway in the shade* Image by @alliski f/8 1/160sec ISO-400 Canon EOS Rebel ## I think the #image my husband got in his head when I picked up freelancing was: ### A stay at home wife who should be able to * Make bank * Work 8 hours a day every single day ### While she’s also able to: * Have dinner ready every night * Keep up with the laundry * Make the bed every day with a re-make 3 times a week * Dust, Vacuum, mop, etc… * Be at the beck-and-call of his elderly parents * Do all of the grocery shopping * Walk our high energy senior dog 4 times a day * Give our Pit-Bull enough attention to wear her out on the daily * Manage the bills, and family budget * Change the light-bulbs, fix the garbage disposal, clean out the gutters on the house, install his parents new water distiller, install the new water line for the ice-maker, and do whatever else a honey-do list is consisted of. * Generally *Never* have a day off… ### While he: * Works 4 ten hour days * Takes a 3 day weekend every week * Spends his days off playing #Destiny and #Fortnite ## Plain and simple, ### There are a lot of reasons for people to stick with conventional employment. * I get little to no respect from my husband and his family for what I do. I’m always explaining and re-explaining what I do. It’s like they refuse to understand. But then again, they’re also old, so it may just be dementia. But my husband has no excuse really. * The Scammers are horrible. They’re always out there lurking and looking. These people are always willing to take advantage of a writer in a content mill. The problem is that sometimes it’s hard to tell these people apart from genuine clients. * Neighbors’ and family are able to freely think things like *oh, she’s homes. She must not be busy.* * Way too many clients want to pay next to nothing if nothing at all. * As a freelancer, I’m responsible for all of my materials, and equipment. In the grand scheme of things, there’s not a lot. But what there is, is often expensive. Also, part of this includes membership fees, publication dues, etc… * Taking time off costs me money. If I get sick, those are hours I can’t work. * I have to know tax law just so I can keep myself out of trouble. * I don’t have the cushion a conventional employer offers. When I say that I get little to no respect, I mean that. My in-laws seem to be under the impression that I can avail myself of their services whenever. Don’t get me wrong. I love my in-laws. Mostly, they’re great people. However, it tends to rub the nerves raw when I tell them that I’m working, and they get upset when I tell them that I can’t just jump for them. My father-in-law is usually better with this than my mother-in-law. Tony will ask me to do something for him in a way that allows me to put it on their dedicated sticky-note to do later. When Rose asks me to do something, she fully expects me to jump immediately. Her tasks are often time consuming and involving. The latest task she asked me to do was to pull weeds. This is something I do for her often. She has a lovely #flowerbed out back, which I usually tend to. However, some of the #weeds were annoying her when she looked at the bed from her kitchen window. But, she can’t pull the weeds herself. Some of them require considerable strength. That aside, her #flower bed is riddled with #poisonIvy. She reacts to it badly, and I don’t have a reaction to it at all. So, I generally pull the weeds for her. I was going to do it anyway when the sun started to descend behind the trees and it cooled off. But, she insisted that the weeds had to be pulled at high noon. * As a #writer, I’m always sending in #pitches and such. From time to time I land something great. However, as a writer, I also have to #diversify. This requires working with #contentmills. There are a lot of #scammers and time wasters. The most recent incident involved a woman who said she was looking for a writer for specific content. I sent in my Clips sheet, and made myself available for an interview. 3 hours later, I realized she was only running me in circles, asking me for market research data. I was pissed. While this particular #scammer wasn’t looking to rob me, she did anyway. One of the #fundamental #facts about #freelancing is that 3 hours cost me about $100. Wasted time- Time not spent #working, #writing, and such- is time I’m not actually getting paid for. I don’t get to take sick days. If I get sick, I don’t get paid for the time I’m down. ### It’s that simple. ![Company Store 1.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmTvXBK9kjGAvXJJtoj2cqGDYw4TA7aSat4zYJeZ1pZabK/Company%20Store%201.jpg) *The Company Store* Image by @alliski f/10 1/200sec ISO-400 #Canon EOS #Rebel #Digital While she didn’t get money in hand, she did get my time. She could very easily have posted that she needed people to spend time on her market research answering questions, and offered to pay us for the effort. But that all goes back to respect, and scamming. The trouble is that many people feel like what they’re asking for should be delivered on the cheap. An astoundingly large number of #clients aren’t willing to pay a fair rate. One contributing factor to this is other writers. Baby, underdeveloped, and poor writers will write for low fees. Another issue arises when there are writers in the #marketplace who view this as their #side-gig. This is my #main-hustle. Not my side gig. So, I get to deal with assholes who think they don’t have to pay a fair and decent rate for product delivered. It’s infuriating. ## Then, there’s what we have to do with the pay. When I give a #bid for a potential client, many times, they want to #negotiate. My #rates are #non-negotiable. I have my reasons for this. For one thing, I don’t have the cushion of a #conventional #employer. A consequence of this is that for me to have the equipment and supplies I need, I have to pay for it all. When I established my rates, at first I didn’t take into account the cost of #computer repairs, a new desk, pens, and notebooks. I’d had my last computer since college. I loved that #laptop. But it crapped out on me. I had to shell out for a new computer. Then, my arms started hurting. The new #keyboard kept my wrists and hands flat. It was more than $100 for an #ergonomickeyboard and mouse. Then, I found that I had a hard time always sitting to do work. I have ADD so any time I can stand and move around, my productivity skyrockets. I bought a #Varidesk, standing mat, and chair. This came to more than $500. In order for me to do my work, I have to have the proper equipment, which all accounts for over-head. ###Clients have asked me why the rates of some writers are so much higher than others. My answer is this. *Writers who have lower rates are new, underdeveloped, or bad at their job. I can say this with a fair amount of certainty because #experiencedwriters know the costs associated with what we do. #Exceptionalwriters won’t work for less than their worth.* ### The next question I usually get is: * What costs could there be? You’re just a writer. * ### My answer: * I may be “just” a writer. But if it’s so simple then you shouldn’t have any trouble doing the work you’re trying to pay me for. * I found early on that trying to explain the concept of how #overhead affects freelancers usually falls on deaf ears, so I gave up trying. ## Finally, Having a job as a freelancer is fundamentally different from conventional employment in that once those who are conventionally employed get the job, they can shelve their resumes. With Freelancers, not only do we have to maintain a pristine professional account on something like LinkedIn, but we are constantly working to better our reputations. This is because we are constantly putting in applications, making bids, and interviewing for the next job. This has to be done constantly in order to keep work in our queue. Otherwise, we run out of work. Also, one #badclient can tank a writer's hard earned and well-deserved good reputation. I maintain my #resume, and a #Clips sheet. These are things that I have to alter and fine tune weekly- at a minimum. Then, since I use my real name, I have to manage privacy’s on my social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Vero. This means that not even my mom can tag me without a request for my approval of the post. My social media presence must, at all times: * Be pristine * Jive with my Clips sheet and resume On top of all of this, the importance for maintaining a blog can’t be understated. In order to get the gigs that are actually worth something, I have to maintain a WordPress blog or website, to which I post regularly. * The purpose of the social media presence is to show who I am. * My clips and resume show what I have done. * And my blog site showcases my talents as a writer. # Personal Responsibility ![A Trumpful Hand.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmXZRCZwfpWQTkpryczdMG35aBQsgmb4kJzqvXJ6xnPHvs/A%20Trumpful%20Hand.jpg) *A Trumpfull Hand* Image by @alliski f/1.7 1/10sec ISO-250 ## It’s not all bad. ### Now that my bitching and ranting is over, there are reasons to do this work. * I love what I do. * While I do have to adhere to and keep in mind deadlines, I have a large amount of leverage where my time is concerned. * Every job is a new challenge * I get to read a lot * There is enough diversity in what I do to keep my mind active, and happy. ### The truth is that I do what I do for a lot of reasons. * I have #ADD. So, spending years of my life at one job, doing the same routine over and over again kind of makes my disorder rattle. * I find what I do very #rewarding. On those occasions where I do find a grateful client, I find the interactions and #relationship building fulfilling. * I have a #pit-bull who likes me at home. The ingrate pesters me all day for walks. After-all, I’m just sitting at home so I should be walking her. But, with her high level of energy, I don’t have to leave her alone all day. * Then there is the fact that I can fit my #deadlines around the days when I need to help my #father-in-law in his #vegetable garden, or help my #mother-in-law #cook #dinner. I work for myself, on my own steam. My #success is based on my #work. #Freelancing and writing allows me to take #responsibility for the source of my #income, and I don’t have to sell my soul or the best years of my life to earn a decent living. When my husband and I take a #vacation, he gets paid time off. I don’t. However, I can spend those first few hours that I’m awake each day writing. This usually entails writing about our #experiences, taking notes, and #organizing #photos; all of which I eventually turn into travel articles. When I go home to visit my family, I can spend some time squirreled away working. This might not sound so great for some of you, but understand that while I love my family and I adore my youngest niece and nephew, my family are also crazy. So, having an excuse to go off in private to work is the only thing that sustains my ability for prolonged familial visits. Otherwise, I end up traveling the distance for a day’s visit. Where my #in-laws, #husband, and some of my #clients have little respect for what I do, my #family have tremendous #respect for what I do. Every time one of my #articles is printed in a #publication, my #dad, #aunt, and #mother find themselves a copy. It doesn’t matter what it is. I once published a #sage #growing #photoessay in a #metaphysical publication. My family aren’t #Wiccans, though I am. # Personally, the feeling of knowing that my family are behind me, and support what I do gives me all the reward I need to keep doing it.