Seth Barham Design
Minimal and effective design, inspired by culture.

spartan wanderer

Just Freelancer Things

Wow. I was wondering how much time it would take after returning home from China and my empty yet disjointed teaching schedule to fully appreciate weekends again. The answer is: not long. These last two weeks have been the busiest of the year so far, between the large volume of work I’ve been lucky to have and planning a wedding. Wait, did I mention that yet? Anyway, I am getting married. You always see those cheesy movies where people are stressing out about it, but I can honestly say that my suspension of disbelief would not be so easily ended if I were watching one now. 

I wanted to do a little stream of consciousness about my first months of freelancing full time. Long story short, I am learning a lot. Some people are envious of the freedom, being your own boss, and working from home, but the lack of structure from a traditional work place is challenging. You do have to be your own boss, which means giving yourself a stern look when you get distracted. At the risk of bringing on the cheese, I've decided to highlight some things that I've learned and experienced so far in the style of the "just x things" meme. These are just a few observations that have been weighing on my mind; I'll probably post things like this to Twitter in the future instead of going full Buzzfeed. 

When your family or friends call you up and ask to hang out or help them run and errand because they think you’re on a permanent vacation in your home. #JustFreelancerThings

When you go to your favorite coffee shop to work, first buy a coffee, and then realize there’s nowhere to sit, so you have to awkwardly stand there until a seat frees up or go home. #JustFreelancerThings

When a potential client expects the world for pennies on the dollar because you’re “just drawing pictures”. #JustFreelancerThings

Client’s face when you turn down their work because of an insulting offer and they realize that they’re not your boss. #JustFreelancerThings

Your face when you realize that you actually finished everything you needed to do that day by 5 o'clock. #JustFreelancerThings

When anyone older than 50 finds out that you actually worked more hours from home that day than they did and you weren’t siting on your ass watching Netflix all day. #JustFreelancerThings

That feel when you realize that lunchtime beers can be a thing now. #JustFreelancerThings

When you realize that not taking work home with you is literally impossible. #JustFreelancerThings

When you wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work, have lunch, work out, watch a movie, and go to sleep, all in your office. #JustFreelancerThings

That inner smile when you remember that anywhere you go in the world with your laptop is your office. #JustFreelancerThings

If it seems like I'm complaining somewhat, I'm really not. I'm so happy to be doing this full time now after so many years of dreaming about it, sort of halfway doing it, and now going balls to the wall, so to speak. I'm only pointing out that it's not easy, nor will anyone tell you this before attempting to be a freelancer. Workflow, pricing, and x are all things you have to learn as you go along. Some things work and some don't; the only way to figure out the ones that do is to try, fail, reassess, and try again. Also, please keep in mind that your freelancer friend, family member, or significant other is, in fact, not on a permanent vacation.