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.

Always had a knack for snarky? Channel those comic instincts by learning improvisation comedy at Toronto’s Bad Dog Theatre.

photo 4 (1)For the inner comedian in all of us, no matter our age, Toronto’s Bad Dog Theatre Company is known for both their wide variety of family friendly comedy and improvisational performances and improv classes designed for every skill level.

“Our Youth Academy offers week long summer camps for youth and teens all summer long,” says Beth Dunn, Youth Academy Director at Bad Dog Theatre which is located in the city’s Palmerston-Little Italy neighborhood.

Vacationers who might not be staying in the city long enough for a week-long class can opt for one day camp registration at a pro-rated price says Dunn, adding that summer camps students receive two improv workshops a day, plus an afternoon activity or performance.

While kids hone their own improv techniques, adults 18 and over can attend the adult drop-in classes.

“Bad Dog offers a wide range of drop-in classes like our beginner classes, No Experience Necessary and Spanish Language because we strive to be inclusive,” says Dunn who has been performing there since 2014.

Beyond learning improvisational techniques, family-oriented shows include The Early Show held every Saturday evening at 7 p.m. followed by Theatresports at 8 p.m. which Dunn describes as their flagship show.

“It’s been around for 30 years and features two teams of all-star improvisers going head-to-head on stage battling for your love and laughter,” she says.

Toronto’s easily navigable subway system makes getting to the theatre super simple, as it’s located right across the street Ossington Station.

“All classes and drop-ins are taught by Toronto’s finest improv instructors,” says Dunn. “Also, all of instructors perform regularly at the theatre. There is nothing better than watching your drop-in instructor battle it out later in the night at Theatresports.”

Well, maybe one thing better. Staging your own family improv battles using the skills you learned. 416-491-3115; or email Adult & Youth Classes: