So, it’s official.
I’m a freelancer. While a day job may or may not float into my life to help me pay the bills, at this point I am a freelancer of many hats: design primarily, but also writing and editorial services.
There are some really rad things about freelancing, and some less rad things about freelancing. Freedoms and responsiblities. I have the freedom to control my own schedule, choose my clients, set my own rates, and I have no commute or grody office snacks to deal with. (You know you’ll eat the cake just because it’s there, even though it’s vile Albertson’s sheet cake which you don’t like.) The downsides? I am in charge of my own finances, contracts, marketing, and health insurance (with help from hired professionals on occasion). I don’t have a steady paycheck. I don’t have a steady amount of work; so far it’s been feast or famine. It’s awesome and rough at the same time.
Here are some resources should anyone be interested in freelancing or are already doing so:
- Washington CASH is a Seattle nonprofit that helps folks (especially women, minorities, and low-income folks) learn all the skills one needs to operate a small business.
- Here’s the Small Business Administration’s start-up guide, which covers handy topics like licenses, taxes, and contractual paperwork.
- Here’s the starting spot for Washington State business licenses.
- Booklife by Jeff VanDerMeer is a fantastic resource for folks who are writing. He talks about both your “external booklife,” i.e. how you market and present yourself, and your “internal booklife,” i.e. how you get creative work done in context of the rest of your life. Jeff’s website is also rife with resources.
- My current business card fave is gotprint.com. They have decent prices and a wide range of products.
- Work Made for Hire is the site of Katie Lane, a rad Portland lawyer who works with creative folks and freelancers. She has a great blog and teaches classes and workshops, too.
- Sarah Horowitz, author of The Freelancer’s Bible, is also the founder of the Freelancer’s Union. Yes, it exists. Yes, you can network, get help with insurance, and involve yourself in advocacy. If you live in New York, join the heck out of this; you can get group rates on insurance. Sadly, that part of the organization hasn’t made it out to Cascadia, although you can still get dental, life, and disability insurance through the Union.
- The Graphic Artist’s Guild would like to educate you about copyright law, among other things.
- 43 Folders has some good thoughts on organizing yourself, your email, your life, and even your methods of organization. On this page, they ask what about your creative practice is sucking, and you choose accordingly.
- Business of Design Online has some great articles, including this series about time management.
- The Pomodoro technique is named after tomato-shaped kitchen timers, and is a great way to blast through work: twenty-five minutes on, five minutes off.
What resources do you know about? Let’s share!