- Sue Sylvester
There's another reason I keep fairly mum about my freelancing. Usually, when I try to explain how I make my (albeit: supplemental) income, I get one of two reactions. Reaction 1) Person has no idea what freelance writing is. Acts like you're the cleverest thing since sliced bread. Reaction 2) The doubt niggling at the corners of the person's smile and they proceed to explain how hard it is to make it as a writer.
Neither reaction is really preferable, although it is nice to feel clever for a bit, even if the feeling's fleeting. But I feel particularly uncomfortable when someone tells me I've chosen a difficult way to make a living. Because really, I don't feel like I've chosen a more difficult way than anyone else. With the decaying traditional job market, I'm not sure there is such a thing as a secure job anymore, especially if you're a 20-something.
It can be trying to hear from someone retired or close to retirement tell you how hard your life is. (Know what's hard? Listening to people tell you how hard your life is.) Although we're all in this less than stellar economy together, there seems to be a certain disconnect amongst older Americans about what work possibilities really lie out there for young Americans. The work world they knew, the one that was secure, doesn't exist anymore.
If you're a 20-something out in the world right now, chances are you didn't you just fall into a traditional 9-5 job, you know, the kind that provides health insurance and retirement options, right after college. Or if you did, words like "layoffs" and "downsizing" are enough to make your stomach turn on a regular basis.
I know I'm anything but alone when it comes to working to make a living in an unconventional manner. There are so many people out there going beyond the 9-5 hustle to make a more satisfying living. People like Ashley who quit her day job and now make her living with her crafts. Or Amanda, who like me, works a full-time job, but has a freelance writing "side hustle." (By the way, if you haven't checked out my guest post over at Amanda's blog, Grad Meets World, you should check it out now!) Or Carissa, a photographer and jeweler.
So when someone acts like I'm doing something extraordinary, a part of me wants to say: You're the one putting the proverbial mountain in here. We 20-something freelancers aren't really out to prove anything, we're just trying to live a comfortable, fulfilling life.
Sure it's hard. But there's one thing that makes it easier: we're all in it together,