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Can a decent command over writing, a laptop and emailing your network set you on the path to becoming a freelance writer? Inderpreet Kaur Uppal shares her journey.
Freelancing in any line of work is never easy, especially if you are a fresher rather than an established professional going solo or joining back after a break.
So here I am at the midlife stage, post motherhood, trying my hand at being a freelance writer. Writing came naturally but I never thought of using it for profit till inactivity numbed my mind and body.
Writing was always at the back of my mind as it was an integral part of my previous work too as a Lecturer in Human Resources Management; after a lot of internal debate and pondering, I decided to go the writer way. I figured that I may not be able to write something too complicated but my ‘Masters’ will surely let me string some good stories and thoughts and perhaps some technical articles in my area of specialization.
I started slow as I still had dozens of doubts regarding the ‘neglect’ my kid would be facing if I plonked myself in front of the laptop at all odd hours but I soon got over those fears as I realized that my boredom was making me an unproductive and a short-tempered mother too.
So I went about setting up my profile on various job sites as well as a blog, started sending out my resume in between the mothering, diapers, tantrums and PTMs hoping for some response. My area of expertise is Human Resource Management and I had worked as a lecturer in my professional days, but now, wanting to write and get published and paid (in that order) was extremely difficult.
Did I really think that a decent grasp on the English language, a new laptop and just sending out mails to everyone I could get an email address out of, would make me a freelance writer?
Did I really think that a decent grasp on the English language, a new laptop and just sending out mails to everyone I could get an email address out of, would make me a freelance writer? Well, I was not disappointed – I did get some responses though not the kind I wanted. Most of the responses were way off the mark (read: a few paisas per word, unprofessional, unpredictable work) and not what I was looking for.
Then the day of reckoning arrived and one phone call was all it took to get the grey cells working. The lady on the other side told me that they would be interested in offering me work if I would give them a sample of my writing. She also told me about the company so I could check the kind of work they do and the money involved. I was stumped and told her that I would send the sample for the topic she had asked for on the set date.
Well, did I get on the work horse and type out my article ASAP? No, I waited for my kid to finish his meal, my husband to come for lunch so I could take his opinion on the job and the article and then called my favorite gal to tell her that I might be on to something!
As a work from home mom my day is not regimented and works around the whims and fancies of a 4 year old; so, late at night I got to work, the silence of the night making swift work of my words into the picture I wanted to present to my readers. The next morning, I rechecked my work and sent it across and waited. Would this be a false start or not?
The lady called back the next afternoon and told me that my work had been accepted and slowly but surely, the work started coming in. The days and nights are just hours I can squeeze my work into and not neglect my home. Some days are super busy with searches for socks as well as stories, deadlines to meet and teachers to greet. Others are just a breeze with me lounging about with my little bundle of joy; or not so much at times with my kid becoming my boss, telling me to close the laptop as I have been doing too much office work – in the middle of an inspirational run!
The need to do more and better, more extensive, complicated work lures me but I postpone the inevitable to savor these joyful, exasperating and fluid days of love with my little one.
Getting my assignments done on time, with the aim to lessen the burden on my Editor and spreading smiles all round, I continue to write. The freelance work keeps me hinged in the world that I have left behind to embrace the joys of motherhood and now lets me have my cake and eat it too!
Such a cliché but it works for me. I love being a freelancer.
Inderpreet’s Blog | Twitter | LinkedIN
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Yes, freelancing is a great way to achieve some balance in life. The first month I started freelancing, I earned twice as much as I did at my regular job :). I was shocked. But there are ups and downs of course, work can be quite irregular at times.
I’m never ever going back to a cubicle again. Once you taste the freedom of freelancing, you can never go back.
Nisha, You are so right, the taste of freedom and the options galore just mesmerize us into this amazing world of freelance writing.
Thank you for your positive words 🙂
The link to the blog is not working!
Thanks for the alert, Shalini. Fixed now!
Thank you for the heads up Shalini Garpha Thakur 🙂
any links to any of these freelance writing websites??
Archana K B , Sorry no links here but the Women’s Web too offers a lot of options that you can explore and of course we all have Google;)
Thank you for taking the time to read this. All the best.
How exciting Inderpreet. I hope to write a similar story one day soon
Reflex Reactions, Thank you for your kind words and all the best for your future endeavors.
Great article…Freelancing is hard work but extremely rewarding….
I personally loved this part of the article, as I could relate to it so much…..
“Some days are super busy with searches for socks as well as stories, deadlines to meet and teachers to greet. Others are just a breeze with me lounging about with my little bundle of joy; or not so much at times with my kid becoming my boss, telling me to close the laptop as I have been doing too much office work – in the middle of an inspirational run!”
Thanks a ton, such praise and heartfelt views make all the hard work worthwhile.
Glad to know that it struck a cord with you too. Here’s to Successful and Happy Freelancing 🙂
Great article, please carry on with the good work and new found passion. Your bundle of joy will buy with his school books and friends. He will also adjust with your too much office work as he grows. All the best and happy intense writing in the days to come.
Thank you for the encouraging response and kind words.
Good work Mrs.uppal & a gud start …Writing is the best way to express yourself…So keep writing & keep exploring..Regards
Thank you Priyanka, Such words propel me to do more and share with all the busy ladies everywhere, especially those who know the importance of their work.
Excellent writing……the contents scribbled straight from your heart are framed by simplicity but still personified and leaving every reader’s mind to plume of imaginations n thought processing………all the best…keep ur god gifted art……the simple and also the most difficult thing….expressing ur thoughts the way u feel…..inspiring…..
Thank you for your kind words and praise. It keeps me going and trying to do better. You too express yourself beautifully. Thanks a ton.
You have echoed the opinion and Experience
Of many a mothers too
Loved reading d article
Thank you, we mothers need to be reminded that we are much more than what meets the eye and capable of so much more than we realize.
Always believe in your dreams and work for your goals.
Thank you for your kind words.
Inderpreet, firstly let me compliment you for a very well structured and articulated article. It’s indeed a very challenging task to write, even if you are a professional. You require an environment where one can formulate his thought process, pen it down, structure it in a presentable form and just hope that it is well recieved by the target audience. And, this you have done it against all odds i.e. maintaining a strong balance between family, organisation and own professional requirements. Very well done, keep it up.
Harsh, Thank you for such high praise and kind words. It is just the boost needed by me to do more and share with women every where that we all can achieve any thing, if we only believe.
I feel that striking the right work life balance is crucial to the success of any endeavor.
Thank a ton.
Inderpreet, I was an software engineer in one of the top companies, I am freelance writer now. I am in the same circumstances as you were in the beginning, hope I ll get a good hold on this as well, thank you for sharing 🙂
All the best for career and hope you achieve great accolades and success. Just keep on working towards your goal. Thanks a ton for your kind words.
A crisp, easily readable, well articulated work. Great to read……but middle aged…naaah:-)…..keep up the good work.
Thank you for such praise and kind words. It is such a morale booster and inspires me to do more.
Thank you so much.
Shelly I always knew U as a good orator but wasn’t aware that U can pen down Ur thoughts and experiences so well . I liked Ur article a lot and wish U all the luck .
Loved the humor in your post…and yes as a fellow freelancer and a mother to a naughty toddler, I agree with you that though an urgent assignment might be waiting, the kid/s and the home always come first and we try to do our best in whatever time we are able to steal.
Loved the flow and humbleness of your article!! Freelancing seems to be a great idea for someone who wants to take control of their own life, but where can one find genuine freelancing work? , any help would be appreciated.Wish you luck!
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