Testing the Waters of Freelancing

Hello, friends. As many of you know, I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last three years, and my husband and I have faced our fair share of financial problems due to being a single income household, and we’ve always been pretty vocal about our struggles. I’ve gotten my fair share of, “Well, why don’t YOU go to work then?” from people, and I’ve had to explain over and over that is isn’t really that simple for our specific situation.

I’m not going to get into all of that here, because that’s not the point of this post, but just know that if you ever see me, or anyone for that matter, who occasionally venting about financial struggles, just let them vent. Don’t jump down their throat with unwarranted advice, or tell them that other people have it worse, or to get a job/a different job, blah blah blah. Don’t tell them that their frustration is annoying. Don’t tell them that they are making up excuses. There’s about a 98% chance that whatever you are going to suggest I do, I have already thought about, considered at great length, or attempted, with little to no success. If you don’t know all the facts, and what is happening behind-the-scenes, then keep your shitty opinions and animosity to yourself.

Okay? Okay.

For the record, I don’t enjoy our situation. I don’t enjoy being stuck inside my apartment 24/7, with only a 3 year old to talk to. I don’t enjoy never seeing my husband, because he works his ass off at a job that doesn’t appreciate him. I don’t enjoy that both my husband and I are wearing clothing that don’t fit us, or have holes and various types of stains, because all of our money goes toward clothing for our rapidly growing toddler. I don’t enjoy having to occasionally rely on government assistance to feed my family.

So, before you chime in with the whole, “Why don’t YOU work then?” or assume that I am lazy for being a stay-at-home parent, maybe take a second to understand that both my husband and myself have had to make sacrifices in order to make things work the only way that we could.

Thanks, fam.

Whew, that was a bit of a rant. Anyway! I didn’t intend to go off about the struggles of living the life of a hermit, but it leads me into what this post is actually about: Working from home.

Now, I’m not one of those people who buys into the “Multi-Level Marketing” pyramid scheme of running your own business from home, like Mary Kay, Younique, Scentsy, etc. Don’t fight with me on this, because I already know they’re just snake oil salesmen, selling ridiculously overpriced products, that are far worse than anything you buy in a drug store. I don’t need to hear about how your friend Susan sells $5 jewelry to pay for her son’s soccer cleats, and how I should be supporting small businesses, because these aren’t small businesses, folks. If you really think they are, then I just might have some beach front property to sell you…

Moving on.

Freelancing. That’s what this is about. I have been wanting to get into freelancing for a long time, even before I had my son. At first, I thought I wanted to find work as a narrator/voice actor, specifically in the gaming industry. Well, let me tell you, it’s not exactly an easy business to get into. A few years ago, I made accounts on several freelancing websites, such as Upwork, which is my ultimate go-to for finding freelance job postings of all kinds, and started trying to sell myself and my talents to potential employers.

Well, it didn’t work out, mostly because shortly after my search began, I lost the only microphone that I owned, and haven’t been able to replace it since. So, even though the invitations eventually started coming in for someone with my particular skill sets, I had to turn them all down, because you can’t exactly do voice acting without a microphone. Duh.

Eventually, I decided that maybe writing was more my thing, since I had always wanted to be a writer, and had written guest blogs for other people in the past, as well as dabbled in copywriting and marketing type jobs. So I adjusted my profile slightly to reflect my new interests, and boy oh boy, did I start getting invitations for work.

And when I say “work”, I mean that it was mostly sketchy, borderline illegal work, that I wanted nothing to do with. That, and people looking for someone to copy other people’s work, change a few words, and post it on their own website. Gross. You suck, dude.

I have also been submitting applications and proposals left and right, usually two to four a day, but haven’t heard anything back. I currently have eight proposals for potential employers that are awaiting review.

I’ve been mostly looking for entry level work, because that’s where my skills are at currently. I have very little experience. While I have been blogging for years and years, I would hardly call anything that I’ve done professional, or of value to anyone. I’ve been searching for mostly copywriting jobs for small websites, which all lead to the same spammy, gross dead ends, as well as a few marketing and emailing gigs for both small and large companies. I even applied to write trivia questions for a company that was developing a trivia app (I really wanted that job, y’all). I’m also thinking about looking into becoming a real estate copywriter, because from what I’ve seen, they are in high demand, and the pay is good!

I currently have my fingers crossed for three jobs that I would love to snag. The first is with a tour agency that is looking for someone to help write itineraries, and help with proofreading on their website. The second is a job with a veterinary teaching website, that is looking for someone to help with emails and marketing. The third is with a gaming company, who is looking for both article writers, and people to test games. I applied for everything available.

It’s hard, man. From what I’ve seen, the world of freelancing is super competitive, and there are a lot of people trying to get these jobs. Sometimes, a job posting will have only been up for an hour, and there are already anywhere between 20 and 50 proposals on it. With my limited experience, I feel like I don’t stand much of a chance. But, I keep checking in, and searching, and submitting.

Something’s gotta give eventually, right?

So… anyone out there looking for a freelancer for writing jobs? Copywriting, proofreading, etc.? How about someone to handle emails and marketing? Social media manager? Anything?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

P.S. If you’re going to suggest I start a daycare, or babysitting, or something else… just stop. Stop. Stop stop stop.

Daily Prompt 2/13/2016 | Never Again

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/13/2016 | Never Again

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.”

I’ve made a lot of stupid choices in my life, but I will never again move to a different country, state, or city, just to please someone else, while simultaneously sacrificing everything in my life that I’ve worked so hard for. I’ve done that too many times, and I will never do it again, unless it is mutually beneficial. Does that make me selfish? No. No, it doesn’t.

When I was 16, I fell in love with a guy I met online. His name was Matt, he lived in Missouri, and he was an amazing guy. When we were seniors, we applied to several of the same schools, and ended up moving to Newfoundland, Canada together, after never meeting beforehand (although, I did fly to Missouri to spend a week with him at his family’s home before we left for Canada together). I had nothing going for me in my life, or so I thought, and chose to give up everything that I did have to be with him.

Matt had dual citizenship, and was able to get several scholarships, and paid virtually nothing for school. I qualified for one scholarship, and nothing else. I had a hard time getting any loans, and ended up going through a sketchy bank to get money. The bank ended up closing, and my money was actually taken back from the school, and I had to take out a loan through my mom to pay for the rest of my first semester. Seven years later, I still owe the school money, which I fear I’ll never be financially stable enough to pay back completely. After our first year in college ended, I was unable to stay in Canada with Matt, and was forced to return to the US, and found myself panicking to find a place to live. I felt as though returning home was not an option, and chose to live with another friend from online, and his roommate, just to get money to go back to school.

Well… that never happened. Matt and I broke up, and my friend and I started dating shortly after. I’ve written about my ex before, and how I moved from town to town, further away from any sort of life and friends that I had made for myself, to better his job, or to appease his family. I was completely isolated from everyone that I knew, and was stuck in a toxic, unwelcoming, environment. After four years, he broke up with me, after accusing me of cheating on him with our roommate. Basically, I woke up at 2am to go pee, and when I got back to the room, he was sitting up, demanding to know where I went, and who I was with. I was confused, and tried to calm him down, but he was upset. I blamed it on him being delirious from sleep (he had a history of sleep-walking), but then he got out of bed, and grilled me for nearly an hour about it. Our roommate wasn’t even home, as he worked 3rd shifts. A few days later, two days after Valentine’s Day, he broke up with me, out of the blue. I won’t go into the messy details of our screwed up relationship after that, but eventually, I was tired of being used, and moved into the basement of the apartment we shared. I started dating Kyle, and was kicked out shortly after, despite having my name on the lease, and we haven’t spoken since.

Once again, I knew no one, despite having lived in that town for nearly two years. I was able to move into a slum apartment the next day, and moved from apartment t apartment for a while, until Kyle and I moved 45 minutes away to start our lives over. We still desperately want to get out of this area, but who knows when that will happen. Our next move will be on OUR terms. Mutually.

Never let anyone control you, or manipulate you, for their own gain. Don’t let them make you feel like you don’t matter. You do matter. You are important, too. You always have a choice. Always.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan