7 Struggles Only Freelance Creatives Will Understand

Working for yourself is a luxury and a curse. On one hand, you get to wake up at whatever time of day you want. On the other hand, you have to get yourself to wake up.

It's the kind of lifestyle that requires a lot of discipline, but also allows you to be incredibly creative. And as with all lifestyles, it comes with a set of quirks that most of us have come to accept as simply part of the job... 

Read Time: 3 mins

1. Realising you haven't washed you mug for days because it's constantly being refilled.


Remember when the inside of your mug used to be the same color as the outside? Remember when it didn't have so many rings on it you could practically track your week by them, like tracking the rings on a tree? Do you even remember what your dish soap smells like? Neither do we. 

2. Having to add "shower" to your meeting prep-list.


Materials prepped? Check. Meeting location confirmed? Check. Smart outfit? Check. Anything else? *Sniff sniff*. Oh...

3. Recruiting a desk plant in lieu of a desk-mate.


Some weeks, you spend so much time working alone you start craving the attention of anything that isn't cold and inanimate. Enter plant. Your plant is there by your side every day, breathing along with you, sharing air, offering a helping leaf.

Sometimes when you've been concentrating too hard, you kick back in your chair and start talking to the plant. You've named him James...

4. Coming to terms with the fact that your barista knows more about your daily life than bae.


Yes, Stacey is the love of your life. But does she know how many cappuccinos you went through to finish that big layout last week? Or how you get a sandwich on days you plan to be in the cafe past noon, but a muffin on days when you're headed straight home? No, she doesn't. But Jeff does. And you're glad Jeff knows these things.

5. Trying to figure out what, if anything, would make your client happy.


We all know that client. The one who has no idea what exactly they want but is pretty sure whatever you're doing isn't quite it. It's similar to it, but just a little more... not. Ok.

6. The extreme self-awareness that comes with putting a price on yourself.


So you want me to tell you how much to pay me? Let me just calculate my worth and get back to you in a day or so. Setting your own rates is uncomfortable. It's like going to on a tour where you're asked to donate "however much you think it was worth", except you are both the tourist and the tour guide. The only thing to do is take a deep breath and remember you're worth it all.

7. Occasionally considering how weirded out people would be if they ever looked through your computer files.


You have a folder full of bubbles and babies and babies blowing bubbles for a mood board you did last August. A word document with a manifesto on buttermilk icing for a baking supply company. An entire 90 second video with b-roll of people coughing into their open palms for a PSA. Are you a crazy person? Maybe. Is this the kind of thing you enjoy doing in your free time? Yes, actually.

Being a freelance creative is really hard. But deep down, we love it. All the hard work and long hours pay off when you get to create for a living!


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