RE: The Freelance Life: Is It Good?

Subject: RE: The Freelance Life: Is It Good?
From: "John Rosberg" <jrosberg -at- interwoven -dot- com>
To: "wawelsmok" <wawelsmok -at- o2 -dot- pl>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 10:42:46 -0500

Pete wrote

I'm thinking about doing some freelance work on the side and I'm curious
what that part of the tech writing world looks like. Are software
companies keen to outsource their documentation work? Has anyone had
good success in this?

Pete


It certainly CAN be good -- I've done it both as a contractor (through
an agency) and as an independent -- given the legal issues surrounding
contract labor, many companies are shy of independents, but that does
not close the door entirely.

It depends a great deal on you, of course -- are you in a position to
accept fairly variable income? Will acting as a gunslinger (riding into
Dodge, cleaning up a mess, leaving without seeing the long-term impacts)
suit your personal motivation?

As many companies seek to commoditize many of the staff functions they
need to release a product, outside labor is used more and more.

As for doing on the side, that MAY be a bit more challenging. You can
(as I have) pick up a few small jobs fairly easily -- as a manager who
purchases the services of free-lancers, I am generally happy to
negotiate around the lack of convenience that will arise with a write
who's working on the side (time commitments, discussions and review
meetings potentially after normal business hours, difficulty in last
minute "oh, my goodnesses"), but, of course, the negotiation will
include less dollars to the writer.

After years of doing side jobs, I came to the conclusion that the loss
in "free time" was not worth the reduced rates I was able to charge as a
result of my "on-the-side" status --

But that's just me -- your position is almost certainly different.

rosberg
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References:
The Freelance Life: Is It Good?: From: wawelsmok

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