89 Reasons I LOVE Being a Freelance Copywriter

July 14, 2011 by Dean Rieck
Filed under: Freelancing 

happy copywriter1. It’s my business so I call the shots.

2. No suits.

3. No ties.

4. I can wear outrageous Hawaiian shirts 365 days a year.

5. Pants optional. Just joking. I almost always wear pants.

6. It’s more of a challenge than having a job.

7. No cubicle.

8. My victories and failures are my own.

9. I don’t have to “do lunch.”

10. I work at home. No commute.

11. No road rage.

12. No commute saves me 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week, 500 hours a year. That’s over 20 extra days annually. Whoo hoo!

13. I can say “no” whenever I want. No no no no no.

14. Different clients, different projects, lots of variety.

15. I can have toys in my office.

16. I can work on the projects I choose.

17. No watching the clock and counting the minutes until I get to go home.

18. No chance of going postal when I see the 1,394th coffee mug that reads “I heart whatever.” You know what? I don’t care what you heart. Just drink your damned coffee.

19. Anytime is snack time. Can you say Doritos? Yum.

20. The pay is good.

21. The pay can be REALLY good.

22. I can work on my patio and smell the lilacs in the spring.

23. The “boss” lets me take time off whenever I want. For the record, that’s my wife.

24. My wife works at home too, so I get to see her any time I want. (See #5.)

25. Friends are real friends. No pretend “work” friends.

26. Nobody in my office smells like smoke. No offense, but bleck!

27. Bare feet in the summer!

28. No waiting 5 years to get 2 weeks of vacation.

29. I get respect for my skills.

30. I get the satisfaction of helping others succeed.

31. Low-key work environment.

32. I buy cars with cash. And I love the salesman’s face when I say I’m “just” a writer.

33. I live in a nice 4,000+ square foot home in one the country’s best places to live.

34. Retirement plan? What retirement plan? I can do this forever if I want to, even when I’m 97 years old.

35. I can have any sort of pet in my office I want … cat, dog, snake, monkey. Okay, forget about the monkey.

36. I learn a lot. I mean, a LOT.

37. I never work “for” people. I worth “with” people. Big difference.

38. Have I mentioned the Hawaiian shirts?

39. I make a difference. I really believe that.

40. I know some of the most influential and smartest people in marketing.

41. Opportunities are endless.

42. If I ever wanted a job, I could have one with a single phone call. A good reputation is invaluable.

43. I turn down jobs all the time. Nice ego boost.

44. I can open my window and enjoy fresh air and birdsong.

45. I can turn up the radio as loud as I want.

46. What? I can’t hear you over the radio! AC/DC still rocks!

47. I get to take on different personas as I write. I’m a ball bearing manufacturer in the morning, a retired widower at noon, and a fertilizer salesman in the afternoon.

48. I work my leads, but mostly people come to me. That’s cool.

49. I can smell dinner cooking. Today it’s beef roast with lots and lots of onions. Mmm.

50. My “job” is far more secure than a real job. I can get fired and the world doesn’t end. If someone with a real job gets fired, it’s doomsday.

51. I have time for outside interests.

52. I have time for family.

53. I have time for movies. I’m a big movie buff. I have an antique milk bottle above my desk which holds all the tickets from all the movies I’ve seen for the last two decades. It makes me smile.

54. I never get stressed.

55. Well, I sometimes get stressed, but that’s only when I forget all the other things on this list.

56. I can stop to smell the roses. Literally. I have a small rose garden out back.

57. I can walk around while talking on the phone. That would annoy people in the corporate world.

58. I’m the expert. People call me because I know how to solve their problems.

59. I invented the “disk mailer” concept that AOL used to become a monster company.

60. Even in my worst year, burned out, being lazy, I can still earn a crap load of money.

61. I can say “crap load” out loud and no one files a complaint.

62. I can work with people in Canada, Australia, and England.

63. I get calls from Germany, India, and Poland.

64. I’m not kidding. That beef roast smells unbelievable.

65. I can open that YouTube video someone sent me with the thing that makes that rude sound and I’m not worried about offending anyone.

66. When I get fed up with my computer, I buy a new one. No snide tech guy to deal with.

67. My competitors are not really competitors. They’re my friends and associates.

68. Google “direct mail copywriter” and I generally come up in first place. I LOVE that.

69. Yes, direct mail. It’s not dead. And when all the new copywriters only know how to write websites, I’m going to take over the marketing world. It’s started already. A client recently told me she’s worked with several other writers and they all sucked. Didn’t know a thing about direct marketing. Mwahahahaha.

70. I’ve shot TV commercials in Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines.

71. Years of freelance writing has transformed me into a damned good writer. It’s a baptism of fire.

72. I have an original 1960 Bob Wood chalk drawing of Huck Finn in my office. It’s huge.

73. I’ve learned how to use words to make people do things. It’s a rush.

74. Freelancing prevents me from letting my ego get too out of control. When I’m feeling like a genius, I’m reminded that I have the capacity to also be an idiot.

75. Today I’m a genius.

76. I publish a newsletter and thousands of people actually want to subscribe to it.

77. I was one of the very first copywriters to have a website. It was way back in the Precambrian Era before the “web” existed. The site was horrible.

78. When I don’t know something, I can call someone who does. I have about 1,400 people in my personal contact file.

79. Since I talk to most clients over the phone, I don’t have to nod and smile when people say stupid things. I can roll my eyes at will.

80. I have two refrigerators. Both well stocked. And no one will steal my lunch.

81. My office overhead is low. I’m still working on a package of staples I bought at Sam’s Club back in the mid 1990s. Can you say frugal?

82. I know the guy who wrote “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

83. My life is balanced.

84. Seriously, what’s with those people who quit an 60-hour a week job because they can’t take it anymore and start freelancing 80 hours a week. I guess they need money for the early funeral.

85. I’m just not cut out for a real job. I went through 7 of them before I accidentally discovered freelancing. Thank God for my failures.

86. I’m happy.

87. I.

88. Have.

89. Fun.

How about you?

Related posts:

  1. Dear Client: A letter from your freelance copywriter

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Smart Comments

15 Comments on 89 Reasons I LOVE Being a Freelance Copywriter

  1. Ed Estlow on Jul 14th, 2011 10:35 am
  2. Thanks for this post…

    No, really… thank you!


    Thank you.


    P.S. My stapler’s vintage 1940s. Staples? Same. Too cool!

  3. Debra Torres on Jul 14th, 2011 12:50 pm
  4. Liked this Dean. Thanks for all the reminders. My girls are playing quietly in the other room and humming birds come to my office window all the time…
    My favorite was #30 “I get the satisfaction of helping others succeed.”
    I love this part.


  5. Sally Bagshaw on Jul 14th, 2011 6:59 pm
  6. Love it!

  7. Joseph on Jul 14th, 2011 8:41 pm
  8. Hi Dean,

    This post was awesome. It’s been awhile since I’ve commented here, but I couldn’t resist stopping by for this post. Thanks for sharing.


  9. Anita on Jul 15th, 2011 4:04 pm
  10. Sweet post, Dean! Love it. I’ll remind myself of these every time I get a request to write for peanuts. I love the word NO!

  11. Dean Rieck on Jul 15th, 2011 4:15 pm
  12. Anita: “No” is a wonderful word. About as good as the phrase “the check is in the mail.”

  13. Trace Conger on Jul 19th, 2011 3:48 pm
  14. Dean, you forgot #90: Not having to clear your browser history after looking at “questionable material.”

  15. Esther van der Wal on Jul 22nd, 2011 3:32 am
  16. Ain’t nothing like the freedom of working from home! Funny post :-)

  17. Cathy on Jul 24th, 2011 2:47 pm
  18. Thank you for sharing. Some were pretty comical. Others made me pout. I am still working my way up. Two years and I can support my family but not without a lot of time and effort. Please tell me it gets easier…PLEASE!

  19. Dean Rieck on Jul 25th, 2011 10:49 am
  20. Cathy: It gets easier in some ways, harder in others.

  21. Israel Villarreal on Aug 11th, 2011 11:05 am
  22. Double I like, ‘It is more of a challenge than a job’ I’m with you there.

  23. Shadai Johnson on Sep 9th, 2011 10:55 pm
  24. That list was awesome!!
    I can definitely tell you have a sense of humor as well you should!
    You’re laughing to the bank mu-ha-ha-ha-ha
    This list was definitely a motivator for me to continue in my copywriting endeavors. Thanks!!!

  25. Loidski on Nov 24th, 2011 9:41 am
  26. This list is a motivation for me. Really? You have shot commercial in the Philippines? May I know what commercial was that? :)

  27. Dean Rieck on Nov 25th, 2011 11:35 am
  28. Loidski, I went with a video crew to the Philippines to shoot commercials for Children International, a child sponsorship organization.

  29. Ashly Lorenzana on Dec 16th, 2011 11:05 pm
  30. Hi there,

    Saw the headline for this post in my feed reader, and had to click through to check it out…enjoyed the boss comment with the reference to pants-free moments, LOL!

    I am just getting started as a copywriter, so I haven’t been able to achieve a level of success like the one you describe (yet!) But I’m working hard to get there, and this was good inspiration to keep me going.

    Thank you!