Full time or Freelance? A writer’s ongoing quest for inner peace (and a steady income). 

Just the other day I had a moment. It wasn’t a unique moment. It’s a moment I have from time to time. Not often. Once every couple of years perhaps. Usually around tax time. 

I’m referring to the moment when I stop writing and start asking ‘Who am I kidding with this writing thing?’ before heading over to Seek.com where I start scrolling through the list of permanent writing jobs. 

I’ve been writing professionally for twenty years. For magazines, for corporate clients, for myself. By ‘professional’ I mean I’ve always been paid for my work. By ‘paid’, I don’t mean well. Although there have been some anomalies.  

As a result, I’ve always had another career running alongside my writing one. Such as the ten years I spent coaching and training CEO’s and business executives how to be better public speakers. Now thatwas good money. 

As much as I enjoyed my other careers, none of them fulfilled me the way writing did. Writing was good for my soul. I wanted to do it all day, every day for the rest of my life. And I wanted to be paid well to do so. 

That’s not too much to ask, is it? 

In 2012, I decided to go all in. I declared myself a full-time writer. It was time to back myself by doing away with all other back-up plans. 

Since then I’ve written five books, three which have been picked up by a publisher, one which never saw the light of day and none which have made myself, or my publisher, wealthy. Yet while my bank account is a little lighter, I’m more fulfilled than ever. 

But I still worry about money.. 

I want both. I want to write my books and make enough money to live well. Most of the time I believe I can have both. But then there are those ‘moments’ when I don’t. And then I start typing in those dreaded keywords like I did the other day.


Arts, Media and Entertainment. 

All Sydney NSW

On this particular occasion, I felt a stab of guilt as I pressed ‘Seek’ as if I’m somehow betraying myself. Secretly I hoped I wouldn’t find anything and could return to doing what I do best: writing my books and worrying about money. Awesome! 

But then something caught my eye. It was a role as a Staff Writer for a well-known and reputable business magazine; one I admired and used to read when I was running my corporate training business. It was full-time, which wasn’t ideal, but it involved writing in return for actual money that was actually paid every month.  

It was like stumbling on an oasis in a desert after years without water.  

I immediately began crafting a cover letter that was, accidentally, very good. I submitted it, worried that it might be enough to get a callback. It was. A telephone interview was scheduled the following day, and this too went well. My anxiety levels began to rise. I was in with a chance. This was not how this ‘moment’ was supposed to go. 

In the past, such moments had served to realign myself with who I was (a writer) and what was important (freedom and creative expression) as well as what I needed to be focusing more time and attention on (sales and marketing of my books). Turns out this moment was no different.

Yes, the money of a full-time job would help make life more comfortable. But it would mean giving up time that would otherwise be invested in becoming an international, bestselling author with a couple of movie credits to her name. Was I prepared to turn my back on everything I’ve worked so hard for over these last seven years?

No, I wasn’t. 

But I decided to go to the interview anyway. 

Although I first handed the outcome over to that higher, wiser, all-knowing aspect of the Universe. The one who knows a hell of a lot more than I do and can see much more of the picture that I ever could. Call it Goddess. My Higher Power. O Much More Capable One. 

The women I met with at the magazine were lovely. I knew immediately this would be a wonderful place to work, with great people and interesting topics to write about. 

But I had to be honest. 

I couldn’t commit to a full-time role. Not when I had a book coming out in August which would require (and deserved) my focus and attention. Plus, I had just started writing another book.   

They nodded, seeming to already know. And then one of them asked a question: 

Would you consider writing freelance? 

I smiled and nodded and felt my body heave a giant sigh of relief. This was a language I spoke and could understand. Freelance was my kind of job.  

Let’s just say it was a beautiful moment. 

Hedley’s upcoming book, Meet Me in Milan, is a personal story about a trip to Italy which results in a chance meeting with a handsome Italian and a summer romance involving a series of romantic dates, each taking place in a different Italian city. The book is being released August 2019. To get on the launch list click here.

Know anyone who would benefit from this article? Feel free to forward to family and friends or simply click the share button below. Thanks!