Whether you’re in publishing, teaching or web design, once you kiss your job goodbye and decide to brave it out alone you will need a different toolkit.
In the employment world it’s all about permission and expectation, and more often than not, it’s the employer calling the shots, not the employee. The frame is already there, the employee has to fit in, even if she has to squeeze and violently tuck in her edges.
In the freelance world (the term literally means “medieval mercenary warrior”: not a gun, but a lance for hire) it’s all about drive and dedication. Of course it also helps to be incredibly skillful and have a huge clout, but first and foremost comes the drive to get started and the dedication to get things done.
In other words: it’s not about who you are but what you do.
As someone who is both an independent publisher and educator, I’m always keen to hear from other independent people in different fields such as music production and distribution.
What I found so far is that the similarities almost always outweigh the differences.
Take indie game development for example. In the highly recommended documentary Indie Game: The Movie we see a handful of game developers struggling for fame (and sanity) on the everyday roller coaster of doing stuff outside of the box.
While the pressure can be intense sometimes (no leagues of co-workers to push it onto) the reward of doing stuff you love and seeing it succeed is worth it.
Here’s the trailer of the film, which won the Sundance Award for Best Editing and (of course) was independently produced, too. Show this to everyone who says video games are a waste of time: