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My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  392 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Tired of clocking in and losing out? Want to pursue creative, fulfilling work on your own time and also make a living in the process? My So-Called Freelance Life is a how-to guidebook for women who want to avoid the daily grind and turn their freelance dreams into reality. Michelle Goodman, author of The Anti 9-to-5 Guide and self-proclaimed former “wage slave,” offers tip ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Seal Press (first published 2008)
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Elevate Difference
Goodman has been freelancing for sixteen years at the time of publication. From the jump, her writing is accessible and fun. The follow-up to the somewhat well known The Anti-9-5 Guide: Practical Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube, Goodman is once again onto something. What other how-to guides (repeatedly) use phrases like “get this freelance party started”? When you read a book like My So-Called Freelance Life, it isn’t hard to wonder how anyone can break from a traditional mindset abo ...more
Before I bought this book, I handed it to a friend and said, "Do I need to read this or am I buying it because it's pink?" I had my doubts--not only about the fluff-potential of a freelance book marketed so shamelessly to young women but also because I've had more experience as a freelancer than people who might pick up a Freelancing 101 kind of book. So I should say that some of this info applied to me, and some of it didn't, but overall I'm glad I took a refresher course. Freelancing in a void ...more
Not 5 stars for me, but I've been freelancing for years so most of this was old hat. Anyone who's been freelancing on their own for a while will (or should) already know most of this material. Give this to your favorite cubicle worker who has dreams of setting out on the freelance path, and encourage them to take the leap...
I really appreciated the honesty and real-world tips Goodman offers in this book. I think anyone who is currently a freelancer or seriously thinking about becoming one should read this book. It's funny, a quick read, and full of tips that I haven't read anywhere else.
Mo Tipton
Whether you're still debating taking the freelance plunge from the safety of your cubicle or you've already been around the freelance block a few times, this book is an excellent resource on everything from drafting contracts to handling hell clients.
This book is chock full of practical advice about building and growing a freelance business. The author has a fun, light tone but is very down to earth and manages to be inspiring & grounding at the same time.
Even if you don't know Michelle, this book is like having a good friend teach you the ropes.
I have really garnered a lot of useful information from this book. As I delve further into freelance writing/editing, its been very practical to learn all aspects of working for oneself. There were so many things I didn't really know I needed to do or even how to do. She really stresses the points of creative versus "bread buying" projects, which not every freelancer wants to hear . . . but when you first start out in business foir yourself, you've got to do some nitty gritty along with some fun ...more
M. E.  Kinkade
If you are considering a freelance gig--full-time or part-time, and especially if it's in a creative field--pick up this book. Goodman leverages her extensive background as a freelance writer and editor to explain the tricky points of starting your own business, and does it all in a friendly girl-next-door tone that is reassuring despite a sometimes-stressful topic.

The book is divided into three parts: Initial set-up ("You Fled the Cube, Now What?"), Getting Ahead ("Sell, Baby, Sell"), and gene
Maybe it's because I recently started on my own full-time freelancer journey, but learning about making money by working from home in my jammies has been on my mind a lot lately. Graduation from my undergraduate college was in May and I start my new grad program in the fall, so I'm taking a big leap of job faith: instead of finding another part-time summer gig folding clothes at a retail joint I hate, I'm trying to support myself through my writing (yay book reviews!) and graphic design. Natural ...more
This book changed my life. Seriously! I didn't realize how much I DIDN'T have my act together when it came to my finances and doing freelance work. Believe it or not I didn't think twice about taxes and a year into my official freelance life, I realized that I was supposed to be saving taxes myself and sending them in 4 times a year. Needless to say I'm kind of in trouble at the moment, but in many other ways this book has set me straight.

Michelle Goodman, who fortunately for me seems to be work
When I checked this book out from the library, I at first wasn't exactly sold on it. The premise seemed like something that could be helpful, but the first couple of chapters didn't quite feel like new information to me.

However, now that I have finished it, I am quite literally sold on this book - I'm going to buy a copy of my own for future reference. It's just that useful. Tucked in among the witty writing are some true gems of information covering everything from naming your business, to avo
This book offers some great guidance and advice for those just starting out with freelance work. It's written in that whole cutesy/blogger kind of language (with chapters like "You're so Money!") which started to really grate on my nerves after awhile. It's hard to read a whole book in that kind of language. There is plenty of information in here that applies to everyone, but I did find that she was a little too copy-editing/writer-focused in her advice (which is what the author does). There are ...more
My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire is written by full-time freelancer Michelle Goodman. With over fifteen years of experience under her belt at the time this book was published, Goodman provides tips, tricks and advice on how to set yourself up for success in the world of freelance.

My So-Called Freelance Life is divided up into three main sections: Section One explains how to adjust to a work-from-home lifestyle after being caught up in the
Jess Kibler
Essential read for total freelance newbies wanting to break in like me. This book is both informative (though broadly so--though Goodman is a writer, she attempts to speak to all potential freelance disciplines, which sometimes works here and sometimes doesn't) and fun to read. Don't expect a one-stop-shop--I definitely still have research to do after reading this--but do expect a jump-start course full of interesting quotes and tips from freelancers across disciplines.
Goodman's got the freelance experience and the clever, easy accessible narrative voice to back it up. Most of the info here is fairly basic, which I actually found very helpful, though it didn't quite cover the more specific freelance issues I've been having. While the intended audience seems to be primarily women interested in freelancing for large-ish companies, the advice here is good for any gender in any work situation.

I've been reading a lot of how-to freelance books lately, and this was o
Even if you're not a "creative" freelancer (and I count myself among the noncreative types), this is still a very informative and entertaining book. And let's face it, when it comes to discussing nitty gritty business and work-life matters, entertaining helps. A lot. Goodman's style is easy and casual, but she's not just writing this to have fun. She comes across as sincere in her desire to help others learn from her mistakes and successes in the world of being in business for yourself. And she ...more
Kathleen Dupré
This is a book that I am destined to reference again and again. I am not normally a big reader of nonfiction, but I was riveted to this book from the beginning. Michelle Goodman has a frank, funny voice that supplements her invaluable information perfectly. It is clear that she is not only a truly seasoned freelancer, she has also done her research. And she's so likeable. Normally I feel condescended to when I get advice from authors in books, but reading Goodman's advice genuinely felt like hav ...more
Mar 09, 2014 Claire rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
A great resource to have, for sure. I wish they'd come out with a second edition, a bit of the info was out of date (it was written in 2008). Otherwise a great follow-up to Goodman's first book, The Anti-9-5 Guide.
I purchased this book almost two years ago after hearing a friend rave about it. I didn't get past the first chapter and let it sit until about two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I picked this book up and made notes. And what my friend raved about? I get it now.

As someone who will be transitioning from the 9-to-5 in a few months to a full-time freelancer, I feel like I have a gameplan for my little business and a direction to aim for now, before I leave the corporate grind forever. And I cannot wait
Good advice for structuring and growing a freelance career, tho mostly targeted towards creative freelancers. The principles can definitely be applied towards more service-based work (like massage therapy or doula services), but it is written by and for someone working as a writer, illustrator, or designer for clients.

I will definitely think about how to balance "bread-and-butter" clients or jobs with the clients that really make me feel passionate about my work in the first place. Goodman offe
If you're thinking about starting a freelance career and have never read a book on freelancing, you'll find a lot of useful information in this book. If you've read other books about the subject like me, you probably won't learn anything new. I had picked this book thinking it'd be interesting to read a book written by a woman on this topic. Unfortunately I quickly found out Michelle Goodman is not married and has no kids, so she's got a lot of working time on her hands, something I don't have. ...more
I loved this book! To any young freelancer just starting out, it’s like a bible! The way she writes is just hilarious, and makes even the boring topics like math seem very interesting! She covers a range of topics from names to money/financial things. It’s a great read for anyone who might be thinking of making the freelance leap before they actually do it. Although she’s a freelance writer, she had other freelancers of different specialties who contributed to the book.

I just gave it to my siste
A book I wish I'd had when I was starting out as a freelancer. A book I could have written by now--though not with half the flair and fun that Goodman brings to the endeavour.

Time--and colleagues who generously shared their advice--eventually taught me most of these lessons. But even this seasoned freelancer learned a tip or two from Goodman.

I enjoyed it so much that I've subscribed to her blog at (for people who "think outside the cube").

Highly recommended.

This is a good, basic book on freelancing. I picked it up thinking, "I may want to freelance someday." This book seems to lean more towards people who are looking to replace their 9-5 job with freelancing, where I'd just be doing it as a moonlighter, or perhaps in retirement. So, maybe I read this book too soon in the process for me. But still, it gave me some good things to think about for the future. The back of the book lists some good resources, both websites and books, for freelancer-wannab ...more
Dec 22, 2010 Eileen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: work
After massive quantities of seriously useless and dated small business books, this one is a punch to the practical action center of the brain. Goodman provides lots of great, great information, keeping her subject as up to date as possible for a bound book in the age of the internet. If you are at all interested in freelancing OR creating your own at-home brainwork-based company, you should look at it; if you are actually doing either of those things, just buy it.
Jan 07, 2010 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: freelancer wannabes
Shelves: nonfiction, all
Great book with lots of information for those who want to make the switch from a full-time job to a freelancer. I bought this book because I'm doing freelance work (on top of being a full-time student) and needed some guidance on how to manage my business. The author presents the information in a casual, light-hearted manner which makes the book a delight to read (not like some dull manual) and provides insight from her and many other freelancers' experiences.
I did not like this book nor was it useful or had any tips I could glean from. I admit that I didn't read this cover to cover, only flipped around, but I did try to get into it without success. Author's chit-chatty you go girl writing style? Ugh, not for me. There are so many better books out there on this same topic. Just go out and buy or take out from your library Lauren & Emira's book, "The Boss of You", now that's inspiring reading.
4.5 stars really, but greatly valuable as a resource for anyone wanting to start a freelance business. Solid advice on setting rates, filing government paperwork, paying taxes, signing contracts, finding clients, etc. etc. etc. A quick read, too - not drawn-out and boring. For the short time it took me to read it and the valuable advice and resources it contains, it was well worth the investment.
Have to be honest... I've read so many of these creative books that it was hard for me to read another, so I basically skimmed through the book and plan on reading it again at another time. It had a lot of the same information and good advice that I've already read elsewhere, but I still think it's a good read for people looking to freelance and attempt to work for themselves.
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Hey there. I'm author of "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube." My articles and essays about alternative careers, human mating rituals, and cultural trends have graced media outlets such as,,, The Seattle Times, BUST, Bitch, ...more
More about Michelle Goodman...
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