I've been living the laptop lifestyle for over 4 years now. I don't travel to exotic locales to work, although I regularly roam from couch to desk aka the kitchen table or I'll even sit outside if it isn't too bright. I'm often supervised by one of my cats who make sure I get plenty of exercise throughout the day opening the door so they can come in and go outside, as often as they like too. There are no lingering days at the coffee shop sipping lattes listening to mellow music, as the coffee shop is typically too loud and distracting for me to be able to think and write effectively. But this doesn't make my laptop lifestyle any less freaking amazing and awesome.
As a single Mom of 2 , I value the freedom and flexibility that working from my laptop gives me. It is both a luxury and a huge challenge in today's world to work from home. At the end of the day, whatever time that happens to be, I feel incredibly lucky to work this way. I can set my own hours and days. For the most part, as long as the deadline is met, clients don't care when I work, as long as I perform. I don't have to take on projects because I'm expected to, do someone elses job, or any other dehumanizing task that can often come with a traditional job and workplace. While those are huge incentives to me the flip-side is I only get paid for what I do. There are very few regular paychecks in the freelance world.
Freelancing is very much a eat what you kill type of work, and it is work. I spend almost as much time looking for and applying for jobs as I spend actually doing jobs. And my ability to take rejection with grace has greatly improved and I often reject clients if their budget is to low, their project to vague or uninteresting. While I have revised drafts of several masterpieces floating on my desktop, they often get pushed aside for all manner of unromantic jobs. I take jobs that keep the lights on and the rent paid. Yet I still plan to complete my own projects and break free from the chains of content, guest and ghost writing: someday, somehow.
I got started with the laptop lifestyle by chance and circumstance. I'd returned to school to complete an online BA in Culinary Arts at The New England Culinary Institute and then I had my 2nd child. I spent most of my time in school with a baby on my lap, my laptop propped on pillows and learned how to type with one hand. When I finished school and took a job as the Food Service Director at a Skilled Nursing Home it became apparent that something had to give. Juggling that crappy job with 2 children on my own was a nightmare of exhaustion and frustration besides which I was going broke paying for childcare for children I only saw for a few hours a day. Two good things happened because of that job; I lost all the baby weight plus about 15 extra pounds due to the stress and I realized I was not living the life I wanted. Fortunately they fired me; I took my severance pay and made a budget that barely had room to scrape by on and started working online.
I signed up for writing jobs on all kinds of online platforms: amazon, textwriter, elance, and odesk, just to name a few. My first 'job' was a 1000 word blog about retirement investing, it paid $20. I figure I made about $1.50 an hour. It took me 2 days to write it. I didn't have to go anywhere to do it: no driving, no childcare, no staying anywhere just because they needed a body. Since then I've written countless words about all kinds of things for all kinds of clients from all over the world. I write faster and more efficiently, and have developed my own style and skills. I often ghostwrite ( I actually ghostwrite ALOT) which is interesting; once I was researching the Paleo Diet and came across blogs I had written on a major site and couldn't help but laugh. Today I charge more than $20 for 1000 words, but I still haven't figured a rhyme or reason for freelance writing rates. I'll also write for free; my passion projects I call them, if the topic resonates. And I do that because I sense a value in the perspective I'm able to give to topics, brands and ideas.
My laptop lifestyle hasn't made me rich, yet. At least not in a financial sense, but I am able to support myself and my children modestly. I am rich beyond measure in being able to spend time with my children; to teach them about life, to experience their growth, to be there for them when they are sick and to play with them as much as possible. I can also be there for myself, and continue to develop as an individual: to learn and grow. This year when my personal life crashed and burned, I was able to relocate to better and safer place without having to change jobs. I simply changed my geography and switched internet providers. Living the laptop lifestyle has taught me many things, which I'll save for another blog, but suffice to say, this is a journey.
My Blog here is random, but it wouldn't be possible if I didn't live a laptop lifestyle. So you can expect an exploration of the resources I value: FAMILY, FRIENDS,TIME, EFFORT, COMMUNICATION...and I am going to play with different media to tell the stories of the life around me. Whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant, successfull or unsuccessful, I'm not attached to the outcome, just the story I can tell of the experience.