This past week, I have accepted an offer to return to full-time work. After two years of freelance writing, some travelling, and plenty of dog walking, I made the decision purely for financial reasons.
Since the new financial year began, my commissions have picked up a lot on the previous year. I’ve probably already earned half of what I made in the last year. And from May to the start of August, things were rather busy. For the most part, I had two commissions every week. Then things suddenly stopped and the work stopped coming in. For two or three weeks, I was twiddling my thumbs and wondering if I’d ever get another commission again. Emails to contacts didn’t result in any new work.
Things did pick up again at the end of August, and September has been about as busy as the busiest period earlier this year. But it did start me thinking that I may need a more stable source of income. I’d certainly never be able to buy a house on freelance earnings, not that this has ever been one of my highest priorities.
When I started freelancing after Edinburgh in 2019, I didn’t think it would last forever. In fact, I was fairly sure the work would dry up within a matter of months. When I was in New Zealand and thinking about what I was going to do when I arrive home, I was fully prepared to return to the supermarket for the third stint there. Although the work kept coming in every month, even if I would have almost certainly earned far more at the supermarket.
Regardless, there is no guarantee that work will continue coming in at current levels. Then a job offer came in from the company I used to work for and I thought it made sense. I’ll be doing a different job and in another department, but it should mean I go to London slightly more regularly.
However, things aren’t changing quite as much as they normally would when starting a new job. For one thing, I will not be moving anywhere – or even commuting for that matter. The job is fully remote, meaning that I can stay put in Stroud and continue living a very similar lifestyle with plenty of dog walks and brewery visits, just with a lot more money.
There were all sorts of things I had planned to write over the next year, with little progress made so far. I’m hoping now that working full-time will at least provide me with some focus on activities outside of office hours. The plan is still to move back to London in September 2022, only now I may go there having doubled my savings.