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Cornered Office

with Mir Kamin

I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.

To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at

The somewhat-annual “what do you want?” post

Categories: Like talking but with more typing, Now I'm free(lancing)


Every now and then my day-to-day life as a freelancer settles down somewhat and I can’t think of any interesting way to spin what I’ve been doing that week. (“I got up in the morning, got my guys off to school and work, sat down at my computer, and worked for the rest of the day. And then the next day I did it again. And then again.” Not terribly informative or illuminating to read, right?) It’s a pretty good way to live—I’ll take boring in the grand scheme of things over a crisis anytime—but it doesn’t make for really excellent blogging.

I suspect y’all prefer it when I do things like underestimate my taxes or double-book myself on projects. Being stupid is funny! Yayyyyyy!

Okay, kidding aside, given that I’ve been writing here for a looooong time, I often reject a possible topic because I feel like “I already covered that” when, in fact, readers come and go, and things change, and everything has a season, turn, turn, turn…. Wait. That last bit is a song. Ignore that.

Anyway. It’s time to find out what burning questions you have.

This is where you have at it; let me know what you’ve been waiting for me to cover, or what issues you’d love to see discussed. We can talk about writing, freelancing, working from a home office, starting an LLC, the balance between work and the rest of life, how being a mom fits into the rest of that… anything, really.

I realized this week that I’ve been freelancing for seven+ years. This is officially the longest I’ve ever held a single job, although that does feel like cheating, to say that, given that “freelancing” means I’ve had… I don’t even know, maybe 40 or 50 jobs in that time. But even going back to my engineering days fresh out of school, I never made it this far in any other job. I got bored, I moved; I always found something else, hoping that this would be the job that didn’t eventually end up sucking the joy out of life. (Just to be clear, that’s not an indictment of any of my previous jobs. It’s just that they weren’t where I belonged, and I didn’t know it yet.)

After all this time, I still really like this job. It’s challenging, it changes a lot, and yes, sometimes I pine for the days of coasting along on bad days, knowing I had a salary and benefits coming my way whether I accomplished anything that day or not. I find this a lot more rewarding, ultimately, even if I do have those occasional pangs.

Now, I set my own hours, I pick and choose what interests me (or what pays enough that I can overlook the fact that maybe it’s not the most interesting thing ever), I get to be creative every day. I even get to sleep in, sometimes. I make decisions that affect what’s happening right now and what may happen down the road, and there’s no one to blame but me if things don’t go well. Conversely, there’s no one to take the credit other than me when things do go well. This one-woman-show thing is a roller coaster, sometimes.

So now you tell me: What have I missed? What do you want me to revisit? Ask away, and I’ll do my best to answer.

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4 comments so far...

  • I’m curious how you look for work. I’m sure most of it comes by word-of-mouth recommendations, but when you’re soliciting, how do you decide who you want to work for, and how do you approach a prospective employer. Do you frequent freelance sites,or do you wander around the internet looking for bad writing and then swoop in to save the day?!

    Sheryl  |  February 7th, 2013 at 9:10 pm

  • That’s a great one, Sheryl. That’ll be up first—check back next week! And thank you!!

    Mir  |  February 8th, 2013 at 10:24 am

  • I second Sheryl. The freelance jobs I have/have had have all just fallen into my lap. I’d like to add more, and after all of these years, am not quite sure how to do so. :)

    Angella  |  February 8th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

  • I am relatively new to freelance, although I’ve been reading this blog (via wantnot) for several years. I don’t remember seeing you talk about how you handle the administrivia. I feel like I spend a frustratingly vast amount of work time doing things that can’t be billed for — invoices, finding a better way to do xyz, relevant webinars, that kind of thing. (Perhaps you don’t work hourly but instead flat rate per project — I know there are a million and six ways to do freelance, but at the moment I’m almost entirely billing by time.) Thanks much. :)

    Karen.  |  February 14th, 2013 at 12:09 pm