Just Jottings: Of free lunches and free- lancing!

Since last 4 years I have the word freelancer associated to my name. But it is very recently that I have begun to experience the flipside of it.The dictionary meaning of freelancing means A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is a person who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long-term. 

The problem is that though the word has “free” in it, there is hardly anything that it at for offer, free. As a very famous economist had once said, “There are no free lunches in this world.” The only thing free here is the will of the person who is a freelancer. Means, they are at their free will to take up the projects the want to work upon and say no to ones they don’t want unlike a paid job where your bosses decide what you can and cannot do.

Source: Google Images
From the little experience that I have gathered till now I have come to understand that the meaning of freelancer has been misinterpreted in more than one ways. And there are many methods:

“We are friends after all, come on!”
“Oh I am sure this is too small a work for you to be charged for. Given your experience it won’t even take you more than 10 minutes to do this for me.”
“Since when did you become so professional that personal relations ceased to matter to you?”’

These are just some examples of the way free lancing is misinterpreted. How I wish people understood the trouble one goes through to work and how this is not about being friends but it is about taking someone for granted. Everyone is here to earn at the end of the day for that is how life keeps running. However much you love your work, you need money for survival and that is something that cannot be compromised upon beyond a point. How easily we forget while bargaining that what if this person would do the same compromise on the work that will be offered to me. 

Every time when someone thanks me for some work I have done I always tell them, it is mutual. We are in the same industry and we work together for our own benefits, for that is the ultimate truth. You respect me, I respect you and it is that mutual respect which shows in the work we do together as well. 

Having said that I have also had experiences where people have misused that respect to an extent that it left me with a very bitter taste. Respect comes from the fact that you bear in mind the person doing the work for you is also a human at the end of the day. Even if you are paying for your work there is something known as decorum that needs to be adhered to for just like you that person is also using his/her skills. Paying them for their services doesn’t give you the right to treat them like machines that cannot fall sick, have some urgency in family, and face some problem due to which your work gets delayed or affected for some time. Just the way you want them to understand when you are unable to in your hectic schedule. Give them a benefit of doubt and treat them with the same rule book you treat yourself with. And then see the way it all falls into place with some amazing outputs.


  1. Oh yes, I realized this bitter truth as well. Agree with you Privy! There are several challenges being a freelance writer. I had (mistakenly) assumed that I would be able to write what I want. But no matter which client I associate with, there is no freedom as to writing. The word creative is non-existent in this freelancing world and the pay is even meager. In fact, all my freelancing work has gone unpaid. Clients think that they can demand whatever and whenever they want without conforming to a time frame themselves. :(

    1. *sigh*

      Ask me Sui... I also experience it so many times that it leaves me with a bad taste even after all these years of experience at times all that I am left with is frustration.

  2. Four years of freelancing? Wow!

    And yes, everyone is looking for a freebie and some people are not past taking advantage of a 'friend' to get something done for free. I think it is a very Indian attitude, but that is a whole different issue...

    1. I agree with you, I have worked for international clients and they are so open to this whole idea that they even pay you more at times when they feel your work has exceeded their expectations without even telling you about it :)

      BTW I love your name <3

  3. Yea! hundred percent I am in agreement with you,Namrata.Some people think they have every right to extract benefit from others but not vice versa.

    1. very true dear I wish people understand this!


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