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Lightening review: My So-Called Freelance Life

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My So-Called Freelance Life, by Michelle Goodman, is another one of those books I know I’ll keep coming back to.

Packed full of tips, anecdotes, and resources, it’s a great help for anyone working to support herself doing freelance work. (I say herself because the book is geared specifically toward woman, but the advice is good for everyone.)

The book’s subtitle says it all: how to survive and thrive as a creative professional for hire. Goodman takes the reader through how to start, including what’s a necessity and what’s not (hint: don’t get a lifetime supply fancy embossed stationary before you start making money). Then she goes through such topics as determining a price for your work, how to find clients, using caution when choosing clients, negotiating a fair contract, and tax advice.

The only part of this book that might not apply directly to Canadians would be the tax section. Published in the US, Freelance Life is understandably written for the American system. Even so, some portions of this section (such as which expenses can be written off) are useful so I did read through everything.

Along with all of this practical advice and personal stories (her own and those of many other female freelancers), Goodman paints a very appealing picture for those who wish to join her in ‘escaping the cube.’

“Wanting to make a living as a freelance cartoonist, clothing designer, or computer programmer isn’t silly,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “It’s dreamable, doable, and damn good fun.”

The next time I go through this guide, it’ll probably be with a notebook in my other hand to take notes. There are a lot of practical suggestions I’m not yet able to take. But reading the final chapter and epilogue today gave me yet another push: I want to freelance. And with her book in hand, not only are there practical ways to make that happen; there’s also hope.


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