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Is it your dream to work from home for yourself as a freelance writer? In some ways, it can be extremely difficult. Not everyone takes into consideration just what goes into working from home. And it can have its negative side effects.
But if you can keep your head in the game, you can address these kinds of issues easily.
7 Real Challenges of Working From Home
Working as a freelancer in any regards gives you control over many aspects of your life. You can set your own schedule, have the freedom to decline work and can potentially make a lot of money.
However, it’s not always a bed of roses. It can be arduous, stressful and difficult to manage.
Let me show you some elements that drive people to hate working from home.
1. Easier to be Distracted
When working from home, it’s super easy to get distracted. This could mean spending time watching Netflix, YouTube or getting interrupted by family.
And when you’re writing content for clients, these distractions can easily take away from your productivity. A loss of productivity means a loss of income.
For example, you’re paid per word if you use content mills like Textbroker. Any time you’re not typing is money you’re not making. This includes bathroom breaks or stopping to get something to eat.
When you’re home, there are many elements in the house that can easily dissuade you. In my case, it was mostly interruptions from family members or getting sucked into watching random videos on YouTube.
It’s not like a traditional job in an office where you can remain more focused.
2. Accountable Only to Yourself
Since you are your own boss, you have no one to answer to other than yourself. There is no one over your shoulder watching your productivity. No one is watching the clock wondering how long you’ve been on break.
This also means there is no one to compliment or praise good performance. As a freelance writer from home, you need to keep yourself motivated and focused.
Being accountable only to yourself can prove to be quite difficult. It’s too easy to talk yourself into taking a day off for various reasons. Just keep in mind that most freelancers don’t get a paid day off.
What about faking sick days? As a freelance writer, the only person you have to convince that you’re too sick to work is yourself.
While it’s true that you do have a bit of accountability towards your client, you are still the alpha dog of your home business.
3. Managing Your Own Finances
As a freelance writer, you need to pay close attention to your finances. And I’m not just talking about keeping the bills paid. Things like taxes, insurance, retirement and other liabilities need to be addressed.
Which means you have to stash away a lot of money in the event you want time off for anything.
In a traditional job, a lot of these issues are taken care of for you by the HR and payroll departments. Someone will automatically deduct taxes from your pay, send insurance premiums and manage vacation and sick leave.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that luxury. We have to carefully plan all financial aspects of working from home.
Let me ask you this, can you simply not work a few days because you’re sick and not have to worry about lost income? Are you making plans for a vacation?
If you were to smash and break both hands right now, do you have a financial security net in place? After all, you wouldn’t be able to type anything for clients until they heal.
My point is that you need to have a plan for all of your finances.
4. Lack of Real Social Interaction
One of the biggest issues I’ve had, especially as of late, is the lack of social interaction. It’s getting to the point where I am thinking about taking a part-time job just so I can have some kind of social life.
Many freelance writers will spend an incredible amount of time sitting at home. And although some of you might be able to handle this without a problem, others may start to feel loneliness and depression.
Chatting with people on sites like Facebook and Twitter can only go so far. For most people, it’s the interpersonal social interaction that makes the greatest impact.
When you work from home, you miss out on a lot of that interaction.
I’m not saying that all freelance writers are lonely. However, it does make it more difficult to meet people when you’re tethered to your desk all day.
5. General Cabin Fever
Speaking of being social, another aspect of freelancing is getting general cabin fever. There are times when I don’t necessarily want to interact with others. I just leave the house once in a while.
My problem is that I just don’t know what I want to do or where to go. But I tell ya; there are days when I get tired of being chained to my computer.
And for those who know me, that’s really saying something. In fact, there are times when I even miss driving in rush-hour traffic simply because I am out of the house.
Although some of you probably don’t have a problem with cabin fever or find ways to venture out when you’re done working, not everyone will. So it’s something I wanted you to be aware of when working as a freelancer.
6. General Lack of Exercise
One of the things which contributed to the decline of my health was sitting at my desk day-in and day-out. I really didn’t get up and do much outside of writing content on Textbroker or playing a few video games.
I gained a lot of weight after quitting the school district and my heart stopped in 2016.
If you’re not paying attention, you could really do some damage to yourself by sitting at a desk 16 hours a day. Being lethargic is bad on joints, the cardiovascular system and even the brain.
Nowadays, I make sure I get up and get some exercise several times throughout the day. This is often in the form of walks or using my dumbbells to work out.
Just keep in mind that when you’re not up and heading off to a traditional job, you’ll burn fewer calories and deny yourself a bit of exercise. Even if it’s just a walk to the car and then into the office.
7. Far More Difficult to Finance Anything
Perhaps one of the biggest issues I’m facing right now is trying to finance or use my credit for anything. Buying a car, renting an apartment…most places today want to see that you have a sustainable income.
There are many businesses out there who won’t give you a second glance if you’re a freelance writer. This is because you technically don’t have a steady and absolute reliable paycheck.
Luckily, there are some places out there that will let you print out your deposits from systems like PayPal or the bank. Others will simply ask for last year’s tax return as proof of income.
Still, I’ve come across plenty who won’t accept those methods.
Be aware you might have to do some searching to find certain providers or plans that are more freelance writer-friendly.
Working as a Freelancer is Difficult
Don’t expect your career as a freelance writer to be smooth as silk. You’ll come across a variety of pitfalls and problems. As long as you keep your wits about you, most of these negatives are easy to avoid.
But don’t assume that working from home is a sit-back, lazy-man’s job. It can be exceptionally difficult to maintain any level of success.