Who Are You? Where Am I?

I’m Kristin Wong, a full-time freelance writer. I started this blog to help other writers, creatives, and digital nomads navigate the tricky business of freelancing. If you’ve ever thought, “I need to be better with money, but how?” or “I want to see the world, but how?” or “I want to live by my own rules, but how?” you should stay a while. I’ve asked myself the same questions, searched for answers, and here, I share what I find. Here are a few things I believe:

Freelancer ≠ starving artist. I’m a freelance writer, and hey, guess what? I don’t eat ramen every night. Actually, I do eat ramen quite a bit, but it’s only because I f*cking love ramen. The point is, stereotypes about freelancing don’t have to be true. And since freelancing has become a lot more common, it’s crucial to learn how to make it work for you. Whether you’re trying to earn side income or launch a career, it’s possible to earn a decent, sustainable income as a freelance writer or any other self-employed person. 

Money should work for you, not against you. After four years of writing about personal finance, I’ve come to realize it has everything and nothing to do with money. It’s more about managing your money so it doesn’t get in your way. Think about it: how many times have you said, “I can’t” because of money? Most of us don’t necessarily the life we want, we live the life we can afford. Money shouldn’t hold you back, it should support what matters to you most, whether it’s feeding your family, moving out of your parent’s place, or taking a two-week trip to Europe. always dreamed about. The problem is, that sounds like a pipe dream to most people because the financial system is confusing and intimidating. I love demystifying it for people.

You’re more than a brand. One of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced as a freelance writer is struggling to “brand” myself. Yes, self-promotion is important. But some things just made me cringe, like blog posts on how to be authentic. Or fussing over social media metrics. Or the hashtag #follow4follows. The more I tried to latch on to various “branding” methods, the less authentic and human I felt. So I gave up. I focused on what made me feel alive: writing. Self-promotion absolutely matters, but you don’t have to lose yourself to become just another brand in the crowd.

I’m a full-time freelance writer. I write about money, travel, and productivity for New York Magazine, Lifehacker, Mentalfloss, and a handful of other places. Let’s connect. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Let’s Get Personal.

In 2010, I left my full-time technical writing job to move to Los Angeles and pursue a freelance writing career. I wrote for blogs. I wrote for television. I even co-wrote a show for Fox Digital. In a few years, I had my own online column and video series. While I was technically an independent contractor, it was my only gig, and it was a full-time job. I put everything I had into it, and then one of my biggest financial fears came true: I got laid off.

I was devastated. People kept telling me “it happened for a reason.”

For months, I hung onto the belief that it happened for a reason. That, somehow, the Universe knew I was destined for bigger, better things. I took on some writing gigs to earn extra cash while I searched for a new, full-time job. I interviewed for a couple of jobs that sounded perfect. A writer for an online web show. A video host for a children’s news program. I didn’t get either of them. Huge bummer, but I kept searching, holding onto the belief that it happened for a reason. Like most people, I found it hard to cope with the fact that, nopesometimes, shit just happens.

In the meantime, my freelance gigs increased. I started writing for popular websites I loved. I wrote scripts for online videos. After a while, I started earning more money from freelance writing gigs than I ever did in a single, full-time job. I also had a lot more control over my time and my career decisions.

I decided to launch this blog because I know I’m not the only one in this boat. Intuit estimates that by 2020, 40% of the workforce will be freelancers. Our whole economy and workforce are changing, and there are definitely drawbacks to this. However, I’ve learned to make it work in my favor, so I want to share how I make it happen and what I learn along the way.

Topics You’ll Find Here

I believe in sharing what you learn, so I decided to create a platform where I could share everything I learn about the following:

• Figuring out money: Because most of us live the life we can afford, not the life we want.
• The freelance writing businessThe ins and outs of becoming a professional writer or freelancer.
Saying “yes” more often: To travel, to friends, to weird, scary food.
Travel tips, reviews, and stories: Because half the fun of working for yourself is working from everywhere.

Join My Online Community (and Stay Updated!)

Want to join me? You can subscribe below. I’ll send you updates, tips, tools, and you’ll also get a free copy of The Freelancer’s Toolkit for Getting $hit Done, a guide I’ve written not just for freelancers but for professionals in general. My hope is that these tools will help you organize and optimize your business so you can focus on a more important challenge: producing awesome work.

 

Hey! I’m Kristin, a freelance writer and journalist (you can find my stuff at Lifehacker, NY mag, the NY Times, and more). Here, I share what I learn about the freelance life, from managing money to digital nomading to figuring out why the Wi-Fi isn’t working.

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