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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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