5 Unexpected Benefits of Full-Time Freelance Writing

{Enjoying local wine from a wine garden in Vienna, Austria in June}

I became a full-time freelance writer six months ago. Part of those six months were spent traveling throughout the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Italy. Then the next couple weeks were spent moving from Columbus, Ohio to Madison, Wisconsin. And then there were a few weeks spent catching up with friends and enjoying the summer weather. I got my first tan since college — there’s a whole world outside of a cube! Who knew?!

But besides the obvious perks of taking time off whenever I please and working from anywhere in the world, I’ve found a few unexpected benefits of becoming a full-time freelance writer.

1. I’ve Saved Money.
I never need to spend my hard-earned cash on ugly “business casual” work clothes that I would never wear outside an office. I also don’t need a car anymore. While my car is already paid off,  I can save about $200 month in parking, insurance, and gas costs if I sell it. I think I’m going to do it. I’ve already used my bike to commute to coffee shops and lunch dates at least a few times a week.

2. I’ve Saved Time.
No traffic-filled commute to work. No unnecessarily long meetings. No annoying interruptions. No need to blow dry my hair. As much as people are wowed by solo professionals’ ability to manage their own time, there’s also a little bit of flexible time-wasting built in to our schedules given the amount of hours we save each week working from home. I can literally work every minute from 8 AM to 5 PM if I want to.

3. I’m Healthier.
I can cook my own lunch. Grilled chicken and vegetables? Yes, please! Granted, I’m still relying on the classic Lean Cuisine when I’m feeling lazy or super busy. Another huge benefit is that I can work out whenever I want to. The summers were great for morning runs along the lake, and the winters will be perfect for a mid-afternoon workout DVD. Unfortunately, I’m not more motivated to work out…I still have to force myself to get excited about getting sweaty sometimes.

4. I’ve Met People.
While some people may think freelance writers are holed up in a dark cave of solitude for months on end, I’ve actually met more people as a self-employed business owner than when I was a salaried corporate employee. From coffee shop meetings with local clients, to phone calls with out-of-state teammates, to networking with other freelancers at a writer’s conference in New York City, I’ve been corresponding with more people in my industry now than ever.

5. People Trust Me.
I run a business and people hire me to work for them. Over and over again. While some may dread the constant “job searching” of a freelance writer, think of the constant job offers! How great does it feel to get hired for a new job? I have the possibility to get that feeling every day if I’m lucky. And if I deliver good work, they’ll throw me another project. It’s like constant reinforcement that I’m doing something right. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Aubre Andrus is a freelance writer in Chicago who specializes in copywriting, blogging, reporting, and social media consulting. View her website and portfolio at www.aubreandrus.com or find her on Twitter @aubreandrus.