Last month, we had our first ever freelance insider interview with freelance illustrator Tony Parkash. If you didn’t get to read it, check it out! Today, I thought I’d turn the camera on myself so to speak, so you can find out what I do aside from running A Freelance Life. In case you don’t know, I’m Ameesha.
What do I do as a freelancer?
I’m a freelance nonfiction book editor and the founder of The Book Shelf LTD. I help nonfiction authors bring their books to life, either through book consultancy, editorial assessment, developmental editing, or copyediting. I specialise in the genres of self-improvement, personal development, business entrepreneurship, and philosophy—in other words, books that make the world better.
When did I start freelancing?
I started freelancing back in 2008 after I graduated, primarily as a side hustle to gain some experience of book editing alongside a job in HR. This experience enabled me to gain a job working in-house for a book publisher, but I quit the 9-5 to travel the world for a year with my husband, freelancing on the road. When we got back in 2016, I decided to become a full-time freelancer rather than go back to traditional jobs and I haven’t looked back since!
What’s my favourite thing about being a freelancer?
It’s difficult to choose one thing, but I absolutely love the freedom that comes with freelancing. I always felt restricted in office jobs, so I love that I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, how I want. I love the freedom of being able to choose my hours, work from the garden, pursue my own goals, take unlimited annual leave to go travelling. In short, I have full control over my life and my time, which is incredible.
What have my biggest obstacles been as a freelancer?
For the first six months of being a full-time freelancer, I really struggled to find enough clients to earn a decent income, and after that I struggled with having too much work and not enough time. So, the biggest obstacle for me is achieving a balance of not too much work and not too little, which can be difficult. Honestly, I’m still working on it.
How does freelancing compare to being an employee?
Aside from the obvious things like flexibility and autonomy, the big difference-maker for me is getting to work directly with authors. When I worked for a book publisher, I was far removed from authors and didn’t get to see the impact I had on books. As a freelance editor, I work one-on-one with authors and get to see both them and their books improve. It’s really fulfilling, because I have that direct impact and can see how it will help readers. I’m not just a cog in a machine like I was as an employee.
What’s one thing I wish I knew before becoming a freelancer?
There’s rarely a perfect time to start freelancing and it’s almost always a struggle at the beginning, but it is possible to become a successful career freelancer. If I’d known that, maybe I would have taken the full plunge sooner instead of wasting seven years of my life in office jobs that didn’t suit me or my goals. But ultimately, I’m so glad that I did take the plunge, because the freelance life is perfect for me.
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Would you like to feature in a freelance insider interview? If so, get in touch!