Could Freelance Writing be the Perfect Job for Introverts?

Yes! Indeed it could. Here are 9 reasons why.

Ask any introvert to describe their dream job, and they’ll probably mention freelancing. No people? Check. No small talk? Check. No noisy office? Check. Spending all day in the world of thoughts, words, and ideas? Check, check, check. As an introvert myself, this makes me happy, and it’s part of the reason why I am a professional wfh writer. (Not coincidentally, so is my equally introverted sister.)  If you’re “quiet” and are thinking of a career that plays to your strengths, take a look at the top reasons why freelancing, and particularly freelance writing, is a top choice for introverted people:

1. Introverts love writing! And more to the point, we prefer it to speaking. Introverts tend to be naturally analytical, and spend a lot of time processing thoughts, but we process our thoughts better in writing than verbally. When speaking, we tend to get tongue tied, but when writing, the words flow effortlessly. There’s actually science behind it. The same brain “wiring” that makes us introverts is responsible for our difficulty with the spoken word and fluency with the written word. Long story short: writing comes naturally to many introverts, so being a professional writer is a great career option.

2. We love working at home. This cannot be overstated. Freelancing gives us the freedom to work from anywhere, and our most favorite “anywhere” is our own house. It’s called a comfort zone because…comfort. And who doesn’t love that?

3. We thrive in solitude. And writing is a solitary pursuit. Unlike extroverts, who love socializing and get much of their energy from being around people, introverts are motivated by a more reclusive, contemplative existence. The fewer people we have to deal with, the better. (When I was at NYU, my favorite place to be was in one of the private booths in the library. Intense silence. Complete privacy. Nobody in my space. Heaven.) If we can, we actively avoid the hustle and bustle of office life. Freelancing gives us the freedom to do that. Working alone at home checks an important box for introverts.

“Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”—John Green

4. We have more power to say no. Finances allowing, we can turn down writing projects that we don’t want to work on, and avoid people that we don’t want to work with. Typically, if you’re a full time employee, you’re obligated to execute the projects assigned to you and collaborate with people who, quite honestly, you’d prefer not to be in the company of. Freelancing gives you a lot more agency.

5. We can collaborate on our own terms. We don’t hate collaborating, – well, not entirely, lol – we just prefer not to have to do it in person. Group brainstorming sessions can be tough for quiet personalities. Virtual collaboration can be easier than in-person collab sessions, and they give us more time to think and then present our ideas, rather than having to process and communicate all our thoughts on the fly.

6. Freelancing gives us more control over our time and space. For the most part, freelancing allows us to dictate our calendar, and set up our work space exactly to our specifications. If like me, you’re not only introverted, but also a Highly Sensitive Person, having lighting, ambient noise, and other sensory input at manageable levels is extremely important. Speaking of ambient noise…

7. We like quiet. And we need silence in order to be able to concentrate. This is hard to achieve in an open plan office, or co-working space—but a lot easier to achieve at home.  (Apparently some people are missing the noise and atmosphere of the office. I’m willing to bet that none of them are introverts.) I personally find it distracting even to play soft music in the background. When diving into a new project, (or even when proofreading) silence helps me to go deep into hyperfocus so that I can be at my most creative, productive, and accurate. 

8. We tend to be intrinsically motivated. Public kudos and acknowledgement are great, but not necessary. (Also, tbh, many introverts just want to crawl under a rock if people make too much of a fuss over them in front of a crowd.)  Most introverts are self-motivated, and do what we love – which is writing, in this case – simply because we love it. It’s easier to work when you enjoy what you do, and when you are not seeking external validation. If one is ghost writing content, for example, there is no byline or anything to prove  to the outside world that you are the creative brain behind the words and concept. Being intrinsically motivated makes it easier to write purely for the love of writing, and reward yourself internally on a job well done.

9. Last but not least: no small talk (or water cooler talk, or cafeteria talk), no awkward lunches, no bizarre introduction rituals, no office politics, no getting your energy drained by peopling all day, and minimal phone calls. Sounds like heaven. 


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Text/Images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix. 

 

 

 

 

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