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Freelance - four months later

Time flies.

It's been almost four months since I posted about going freelance, and it's been four months in which a lot has changed.

Working as a freelance writer has a lot going for it, but it's not all lattes in the local coffee shop and brunches over a notebook. There's plenty of work to do — if you're lucky, and long may it continue — and for the most part, if you don't do it, you don't get paid. That's pretty obvious, but when the amount you invoice for at the end of the month is directly related to the work you did in the four weeks prior, it has a habit of focussing the mind. That's before you take into account the fact you don't get paid annual leave anymore. Or sick leave.

But then, you don't need to go through four different layers of management to get a day off, either. Nor do you need to make sure the calendar lines up with two other people to be able to take an hour to go to an appointment or, like I will this year for the first time ever, see the kids in their nativity plays. There's a flexibility that only working for yourself can offer, and four months in, I can't imagine working in an office. It feels like a lifetime ago, and that's a great feeling to have.

So far, as of the beginning of December 2018, I can honestly say that leaving a relatively stable "normal" job to set out on my own was the best career move I've ever made, both financially and for my quality of life. I wish I'd done it years ago, and I can't thank the folks at 1Password, Redmond Pie, How-to Geek, TouchArcade, and anyone I'm forgetting, enough for making this possible.

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Freelance

As of 15:30 today I am officially unemployed. It’s not all that bad though, it was my choice because it means that I can do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time - take my writing full time, freelance.

People have been seemingly going independent and/or taking up freelancing left and right over the last few months and years. I still remember Mike Hurley doing it to start RelayFM with Stephen Hackett and the latter going fully independent himself a little later. More recently there was Casey Liss who did it after almost as much indecisiveness as I have gone through over the last few months! It seems to be the done thing right now, but that doesn’t make it anywhere near the norm. Some people will think I’ve absolutely lost the plot. I would tend to disagree.

That’s in part thanks to the awesome people I’m going to be working with moving forward.

The majority of my time will be with the fine folks over at AgileBits, specifically 1Password. I’ll be the new “Content Pioneer” of the group which basically means I’ll be writing the words you read over at 1Password.com. I can’t wait to get started and I’ve heard amazing things about the company. This whole thing wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the 1Password gig - thanks to them for giving me the opportunity.

Alongside this I’ll be writing for Redmond Pie, covering just about anything tech related. That’s mobile, gaming, enterprise and anything else that looks like it might be of interest to those reading. We're hoping to push this on to the next level over the coming months, too, with more hardware reviews like this one.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Touch Arcade. You’re no doubt already very familiar with their work because the site is the place to go for mobile gaming news and reviews and I’ll be doing a little bit of both. If you’re a developer with a game in the works, hit me up! I'm pretty easy to find online.

Rounding all this out is oliverhaslam.com. I hope to be able to use this place a little bit more and certainly to greater effect over the coming months. It’s going to be a hectic period in my life and I absolutely cannot wait to get started.

As much as I’m looking forward to doing something I love, I’m also looking forward to the added flexibility this will give me and more importantly, my family. More flexible working hours are one thing that will help, as is the fact that I’ll be around when the kids go to or come home from school. You can’t put a price on that and I have already missed out on far too many school plays.

I of course cannot explain all of this without thanking my wife, Rachel, for believing in me to the point of pushing me in the direction of doing all of this when other people might have been inclined to do the very opposite. I wouldn't be in this position, or have these opportunities, if it wasn't for her.

Am I nervous? Absolutely. The thought of not having a jobby job is an alien one for people like me, but the overriding feeling I have today is one of excitement. Excitement for the future and excitement for where I will be this time next year. It’s going to be a hell of a ride!

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