The Dark Side of Freelance Writing

No matter how careful you are, you can end up getting screwed.

Linda Kowalchek
5 min readJan 17


Puzzled looking woman using a laptop
Photo by Yan Krukau for Pexels

Anyone who says they are a freelance writer because they want to work for themselves is utterly full of shit.

I often hear people talking about how freelance writers are in control of their lives and can work whenever and wherever they want. They call the shots. They are in control of their lives and futures. And freelance writing has made this all possible. Have laptop and internet, will be well paid.

Let me tell you a little something: freelance workers don’t work for themselves. They work for the client. The client is the puppet master, and the writer is the puppet. Remember that, and your life will be much easier if you embark on a freelance writing journey.

When I write, I prefer a specific environment. Currently, I have old episodes of Real Housewives of NYC playing in the background (love that snarky Bethenny Frankel), a pile of Andes chocolate mints wrapped in their signature green foil to my right for easy reach, and I am sitting at my mom’s desk which is older than me. I have switched to using the big monitor and my Magic Keyboard connected to my old MacBook Air because it’s easier on my old lady eyes and hands.

My three remaining rescue cats (April, Bunny, and Joey have gone on to their next journey far too soon) pop up every so often. I put mini ramekins filled with treats to keep them happy and out of mischief.

This is the little world I live in. I just sit here and do my work — type, type, type. I write, edit, and proofread. Most recently, my work has been a freelance gig from a super nice lady I work with regularly.

She is a pleasure to work with. I would work with her all of the time if I could, but she only has so much work for me to do and a limited amount of money to pay me. But she pays as soon as I complete my work and she pays the amount of money she promised me. She is trustworthy, reliable, and a good person. And she has become my friend.

Well, she was working on a project and farmed out some of the work to me. Great, I can always use the money. She and I were busting our asses to meet some tight deadlines. No problem; tight deadlines don’t bother me.



Linda Kowalchek

Member of the typewriter generation. I write about the writer’s journey and things that happen to me. 100% AI free. Reach me at