The Writer’s Life
Doesn’t Have to Mean Freelance

Young happy woman working on her laptop remotely on the balcony

AWAI Success story Les Worley once had a dilemma on his hands … or at least it seemed like one …


Rebecca Matter

“If you can spare 10 minutes, I’d really appreciate it. I need help with a huge decision,” his email read.

A quick call later from the parking lot of my kids’ school, he realized what he had was a choice.

Les, an AWAI Circle of Success member, had hit his stride as a freelance copywriter and had been riding the success wave for a good year. But one of his clients — who had become quite large — valued the relationship in a very big way. So much so, they asked him to come on board full-time.

“They want me to take a J-O-B! That’s not what the writer’s life is all about,” Les exclaimed.

It wasn’t the first time I’d had this conversation with a writer …

Believe it or not, it’s a common problem for many freelancers. And when the situation presents itself, they feel conflicted … wondering what to do … agonizing over the decision.

After all, taking a full-time writing job means giving up the writer’s life, right?

Not necessarily.

No one ever said the writer’s life had to mean freelance.

Living the writer’s life is all about choices …

The choice to work with whom you want to work with, the choice to work where you want to work, the choice to work whatever time of day you want, the choice to make the kind of money you want …

And as I told Les that day, everyone’s definition of freedom is different. If you approach the situation the right way, you can still have the life you want with a full-time writing gig.

You just need to evaluate the decision like you would any other business decision.

After all, there are benefits of taking a full-time gig.

You might prefer a full-time writing gig if …

1. You love being part of a team.

As a freelance writer, you’re often working solo.

Maybe you’d like to contribute to the ideas earlier on, rather than just being handed the assignment. Or you’d like to collaborate on projects, to come up with even better Big Ideas and expand the scope even more.

Granted, you can work towards this with clients, even as a freelancer. Many freelancers who have worked for me for years feel more like team members. But that’s another article. :)

2. You LOVE what you’re writing about and want to put all your efforts into it.

It’s kind of like deciding to date exclusively. You value the time you spend with that special person more than anyone else, and would rather focus on making that particular relationship stronger.

And while I wouldn’t recommend an “all your eggs in one basket” strategy as a freelancer, it’s definitely a benefit of full-time writing gigs.

3. You want a more focused experience.

Many writers take full-time gigs to take a deeper dive into their niche and become stronger writers. Working with the same people, writing about the same products, and targeting the same prospects again and again can give you a much deeper education in writing effective copy.

4. You want income stability.

Of course there are other ways to ensure stable income as a writer — like taking on retainer deals, working on assignments with royalties, etc. But a salary that comes every other week, and maybe health benefits and paid time off, can definitely be a benefit.

But what about freedom? What about flexibility? What about making the money you want to make?!?

You don’t have to give up the writer’s life when you’re working full-time.

You CAN have your cake and eat it too!

You just need to set yourself up to live the life you want …

First, think of the “full-time gig” as a one-year contract. Freelancers sign these types of deals all the time.

Even though you’re “full-time” on paper, it’s really no different. You can walk away at any time. So tell yourself that you’ll re-evaluate the deal each year and decide if it’s something you want to continue.

Bottom line: This is not a lifetime decision. And you’re still progressing your copywriting career.

Next, ask to work from home and maintain a flexible schedule.

If you’ve been freelancing up until now, it’s clear you’re capable of managing your own schedule and getting your work done without being in the office.

Of course, you’ll have to be available for meetings. But that’s no different from any other freelance writer.

Finally, make an offer YOU can’t refuse.

Remember, the client is asking YOU to come on full-time. That means you’ve already proven your value, and you’re in a strong position to negotiate.

Now if you accept, you’ll likely be giving up the potential of other freelance work …

What’s an amount that’s worthwhile? What’s the figure that you couldn’t walk away from if the client agreed? Start there!

Now you’ve got the benefits of a full-time writing gig with the freedom of a freelancer.

Sounds like the writer’s life to me!

Remember, no one ever said the writer’s life has to be a freelance writer’s life. You have the freedom to define what it means to you.

What’s your ideal writer’s life? Please take a moment to click the comment link and let us know what “your way” looks like.

And here’s to your writer’s life being exactly how you imagine it!

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Published: March 4, 2021

5 Responses to “The Writer’s Life Doesn’t Have to Mean Freelance”

  1. I worked full time for many years and enjoyed it...that was based on my personal life style. Now that I am semi-retired free lance is exciting to me.....I can travel and work from anywhere. Having the ability to access AWAI any time means having support when I need it. I have the best of two worlds....the old and the new!

    Marlene NeherMarch 4, 2021 at 5:17 pm

  2. My writer's life has been full time in-agency, full time client side, and full time freelance depending on the stage of my career and life. Currently considering switching back to a full time client side role as a content strategist and writer. I love the flexibility of freelance but right now, the security of a regular paycheck looks pretty good!

    SaraMarch 4, 2021 at 9:24 pm

  3. There was a 27 years old swing grinder guy at work, I never asked him about his real name. He was known as El Chéro and he is the only person from my relatives and friends that I’ve seen into writing.
    El Chéro was an ESL, all the coworkers would mock at his writing... I even told him “ you don’t even know how to write in Spanish and you trying to write in English ”. And he replied with a smile “ got to start some how” He wanted to share his stories, I want to make them shine for him.

    Guest (Ruben)March 5, 2021 at 5:59 am

  4. It gets better and better.. Awai is not just this awesome place to learn creative writing skills. It's a place that also caters to the writer's mind. I Love Awai

    GLORIA KINGMarch 5, 2021 at 10:34 am

  5. Brilliant Article Rebecca.Extremely good advice Thanks a lot

    Copywriter53March 12, 2021 at 12:08 am


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