• Ana Gascon Ivey

10 Confessions of a Freelance Writer

Meet Daisy, my basset hound and editor

People ask me all the time, "What's it like to be a freelance writer?" And I answer honestly: BEST. JOB. EVER. I mean seriously, I work the hours I want with clients I love. Can't beat that.

But let's get real. There's a lot we freelancers get away with when no one's looking. Take a look at my top 10 confessions:

1. Yes, I work in my pajamas. Not every day, not even every week. But some days when it’s particularly cold outside and for whatever reason I’m tired (like I stayed up binge watching "Vera" on BritBox till 2 am), I shuffle to my office wearing PJs and warm, fluffy slippers. I can actually get a lot done in my pajamas. You’d be surprised.

2. I forget to brush my teeth. I do eventually get around to it, but often not until lunchtime. Gross, right?! When I worked a 9-to-5, I would brush my teeth first thing in the morning and then again after breakfast. Now I get caught up with my to-do list and hours fly by before I remember. Don’t tell my dentist.

3. I work from my bed. I love my home office. My desk is a blend of rustic wood with black, metal legs. Very industrial. It's set up by the window, so I can enjoy natural light and see what my neighbors are up to. (Not that I’m nosy or anything.) But on days when I’m under the weather, the trip from my bedroom to my office seems daunting. (About 30 yards.) On those days I prop my MacBook on my lap, fluff my pillows and get to work.

4. I only dress from the waist up. Wait, that didn't come out right. What I mean is I might throw on a cute top but leave my pajama pants on my bottom half. It's great for virtual meetings with clients. Hey, they don’t know I’m only half dressed.

5. I don’t set an alarm. I've always hated the sound of an alarm clock. I've tried buzzers, chimes, worship songs, folk music, Taylor Swift. Nothing works for me. Unless I have to get up early for a meeting, I allow my body to wake up naturally — and I'm in a better mood for it. Who needs an alarm?

6. I play a lot of Scrabble. I’m addicted. But I only fire up a game when I need a 10-minute break from writing or researching. Scrabble helps me relax and refocus my thoughts. I'm a geek like that.

7. I have dance parties. I like to write with Pandora quietly streaming in the background. But when Ariana comes on, my office is a dance club for one. Question: Does Amazon sell disco balls?

8. I ignore personal calls. Sorry friends, if your name pops up on my iPhone, I probably won’t answer. I’ve got content to write and deadlines to meet. Leave a message. I’ll call you back after 5.

9. I don’t leave my house. Not in that reclusive, Emily Dickinson way. I'm Latina — I love a party! But when I’m working on a big project and the weather is below 40 degrees, I hunker down. Then I make up for it by going to a gazillion events over the weekend.

10. I talk to my dog. My assistant, Diana, only comes in for a few hours a week. Otherwise, she works from home and I end up by myself most days. When I need help with a headline, I ask Daisy, my basset hound. Funny, she likes all of my headlines. Every single one. Good doggie.

So that’s my list of freelance confessions. What's on yours?