Why I might stop calling myself a freelancer

As a wordie (hey, there are foodies, right? why not wordies?), I’m always interested in people’s different reactions to the same word, including my own.

For as long as I can remember, the word “freelancer” has had positive connotations for me. I associate it with independence, bohemia, diverse and interesting work. But when I read my friend and fellow wordie Suzan Bond‘s recent Fast Company article, I experienced something of a change of heart.

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Identity! (photo of a windowsill I saw in Prague this summer)

I won’t summarize her story, since Suzan did a marvelous (and concise) job of laying her premise out, but will say I’m starting to think about different ways to introduce myself that wouldn’t be as apt to connote “beginner,” “student,” or “hack” to other people.

I could say…

  • “I provide editorial services to nonprofits and small businesses.” This is exactly true, but rather clunky and perhaps a bit stuffy for a conversational entrée.
  • “I’m a writer/editor.” And then when they ask What do you write?, I say the above.
  • “I’m in business for myself.” “I have my own business.” “I’m self-employed.” Etc. Then the above.

I’m sure something will stick in time. And if “freelancing” has taught me nothing else, it’s that all is fluid! But right now, my curiosity’s piqued.

Fellow self-employed friends: How do you introduce yourselves?

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