Freelancing Equals Freedom: How to Become a Writer as a Digital Nomad

Freelance opportunities have always been attractive to people who crave freedom and flexibility in their professional lives. Thanks to technology, it’s now easier than ever to work remotely from the location of your choosing as a writer. You may even have such success that you end up morphing your freelance gigs into a bona fide small business opportunity. Guest blogger Lisa Walker of Neighborhood Sprout shares some tips on how to make it happen.

Assess Your Skill Sets

There are a number of different occupations that can be done in a freelance or independent contracting capacity. Before exploring the potential for your industry, make a self-assessment that includes an honest appraisal of your ability to work and write in a sometimes challenging environment. Being knowledgeable in your field, having enough industry contacts, and being well prepared can all help boost your odds for success. Good time management skills and a self-starter personality are essential to being a freelance writer.

Where Will You Work?

As a freelancer, you won’t be working a 9-to-5 office schedule, but you will need to have the appropriate workspace and equipment to be able to do your job effectively. This typically means a quality laptop with reliable internet connectivity as well as access to private and quiet work spaces you can use as necessary. You may also need a noise-blocking headset or private workspace that allows you to conduct Zoom or phone conversations with potential clients. You may even be able to work on-site for some of your clients, reducing the need for your own office space.

When first starting out, choose a handful of job boards where you can detail your work skills and experience as well as share your portfolio. For example, you can offer blog writing services through a site like Upwork. Here, potential clients can read reviews from other clients and learn more about what you have to offer.

Traveling as a Freelancer

According to Influence Digest, many freelancers decide to work in this capacity so they have the ability to travel and to build flexibility into their lives. Others travel because it’s related to their particular line of work. For example, if you’re a freelancer who reviews vacation destinations or different points of interest across the globe, you may be traveling on a regular basis. If costs are not covered as part of your assignment, look for low-cost rentals and off-season travel times, and make sure tech capabilities are adequate so you can efficiently do your job. Travel via public transportation or fly standby. According to CNET, having a credit card that gives you rewards points toward travel can also be beneficial.

Building a Business

You may find that demand for your writing is expanding to a point where you’d like to establish yourself as a small business. In this case, taking the steps to register a business name and establish a formal business entity is a good idea. A DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” is the way to name your company without necessarily having to attach your own name to it from a public perspective. A DBA makes it easier to branch out into ancillary services if you decide you would like to do work for different industries under the same business umbrella. You can also use the DBA to establish banking and online accounts, as well as use it in billing statements and in cashing checks.

Working as a freelance writer provides numerous opportunities for flexibility and choosing work you find personally and professionally rewarding. As a small business, you may also have a greater degree of control over your earnings. Careful budgeting will be essential to ensuring success. Also keep in mind that as a freelancer, you’ll have to pay your own share of taxes as well as that of your “employer” (you) in making contributions to your Social Security account. Keep these matters in mind for long-term planning, budgeting, and expense tracking.

South Bend’s Magnificent Tippecanoe Place

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Built in 1889, Tippecanoe Place, a fine dining restaurant in South Bend is an elaborately gabled and turreted 24,000-square-foot Richardsonian Romanesque-style house which belonged to Clem Studebaker, one of the Studebaker auto magnates. Perfectly preserved, it’s about what having it all meant back in the late 1800s. With 40 rooms, 20 fireplaces and ball room, it took three years to build at a cost of $250,000 (around $6.4 million in today’s money). Add in another $100,000 the family spent on furnishings for all four floors and you can see it was quite a home.

Clem and his brother Henry had made their fortune by growing their blacksmith shop into the world’s largest buggy business, making horse driven wagons for the Civil War effort and then segueing successfully into manufacturing Studebaker cars. At one time, after buying Pierce Arrow, the sleek automobile luxury brand, they even had a Rockne line named after the famed Notre Dame coach who talked up the cars at auto conventions. But alas, deep in debt and with the Depression in full force, Studebaker went into bankruptcy in 1933 and Clem’s son, George, who lived there with his family, abandoned the house which then stood empty for seven years until it was purchased for $20,000 and used first by the Red Cross and then as a school for the handicapped.tippecanoe.02 (1) (1)

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, four years later Tippecanoe Place earned the even more coveted and prestigious designation as a National Historic Landmark. In 1980, it was restored at a cost of about $2 million and turned into a restaurant and since then, it’s been the go-to-place for weddings, family events, parties and gracious dining.

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The interior of this splendid manse, all highly polished woods, stunning chandeliers, elaborately carved woodwork including the grand staircase, serves classic American fare such as prime rib with creamy horseradish sauce, Indiana roast duckling, shrimp cocktail and chicken Oscar amidst all this elegance (but don’t worry neither tiara or tux are required to dine—it’s casual despite the splendor). The sumptuous—and diet busting—Sunday Brunch is a feast that makes you swear, falsely of course, that you won’t need to eat for a month. There’s also an extensive wine and spirit list.

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As for the name Tippecanoe, Clem was good friends with Benjamin Harrison, an Indianapolis lawyer who would become the 23rd President of the United States. Harrison’s grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was the hero (depending on whose side you were on) of the Battle of Tippecanoe which took place near Lafayette in 1811. He too was a U.S. President. But it also could originate from the fact that Tippecanoe, the leader of the Miami Indians, liked to camp on the land where Clem built his mansion. Guided tours are available but you can also take a peak on your own. And be sure to check out the historic memorabilia about the Studebaker family and business on display.tippecanoe.48

Here’s an adaptation of one of Tippecanoe’s signature desserts.

Frangelico Cream Mouse

3 large egg yolks

1-1/2 cups superfine sugar

1-1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueuor

2 cups heavy cream (36% milk fat) Note: Avoid using ultra pasteurized as it won’t whip properly.

In a mixer with a wire whip, beat egg yolks with the sugar and the vanilla until light and pale.

Beat in softened cream cheese, then add the Frangelico, mixing until very smooth.  Set aside in a cool place.

Whip the heavy cream until stiff in another bowl and then fold into the cream cheese mixture.  Chill.

Garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves

Serve in  individual glasses or in a large, pretty dish.

620 W. Washington

South Bend, IN

574-234-9077; tippe.com