Top 4 Reasons Why Freelancers Are Like Indiana Jones

Before I explain, let me just say this: Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my favorite movies, I have a healthy hatred for the Nazi regime, and I have an enduring love in my heart for diligent, hard-working underdogs.

Also, it's important for you to understand that when I say freelancers, I mean freelance writers. I wouldn't dare presume to know the apt comparison for freelance gigolos or, say, freelance balloon dragon (yes, only dragons) artists.

Wave your writing or editing utensil at any copy that sucks.

1. We Are Resilient

As I have mentioned before, I believe that freelancers are resilient in that we face, on a regular basis, various forms of unpredictability. We do our best to create an approach to new writing projects that addresses the basic, universal components. But every client is different. We may, after freelance writing for so long, learn to anticipate certain needs or (insert illogical request here), but we also know that there is always (always) room for the "out of left field" requests.

Do you think Indiana Jones was prepared for the gargantuan rolling boulder or Nazi face melt extravaganza? Probably not. But he does make himself open to the possibility. That is what counts. By making himself open to basically anything, he is able to keep going and learn along the way.

I think freelancers are pretty good at this. We may have created a process that works for us, but we also know that our processes have to be a bit malleable and ever-changing to be relevant for the context.

2. We Are Adventurers.

Indiana Jones and the Archeology Class would have been a completely different film. Can you imagine? Rather than "I hate snakes," we get "I hate it when you skip my class." Droll! Without the adventurous spirit of Indiana Jones, we'd probably get something like that. Thank goodness it didn't turn out that way.

Instead, we get a film overflowing with adventure, led by a character who yearns for new experiences and challenges.

Freelancers are kind of like this too. We don't genuinely want to stick to one particular task, for one particular client, each and every day. We need and yearn for variety. We want new challenges and experiences. For instance, I want to get better at fiction editing. It's a weakness that I could remedy by doing more of it, learning, and challenging myself along the way.

3. We Are Stubborn.

To freelancers, stubborness is both a survival mechanism and a way to maintain our self-worth. We are, by default, independent and self-motivated. Stubborness is a natural result of this. But I don't mean stubborn in that we are unreasonable or obstinate. We are stubborn in that we tend to be difficult to manage. We like to go at it alone, for the most part. We are opinionated, strong-willed and not afraid to speak our minds. If managed right, this stubborness can be a tremendously effective tool for freelancers.

Now, imagine a world in which a compliant Indiana Jones went off on prefabricated adventures at the behest of a well-respected authority figure. Wait, shit, cease with the imagination. That is awful.

4. We Are Underdogs

Or perhaps I am alone in thinking that freelancers are like Indiana Jones. Perhaps I am embellishing. I do that. It's fun and mostly just an indulgent exercise in imagination building. So, yes, underdogs. We are independent and self-motivated, just like underdogs. Our independence is fought for and earned. We don't take it lightly, which naturally feeds our tendency toward being self-motivated. Underdogs comprise all of these attributes: resilient, stubborn, self-motivated, and independent. I also just like the term underdogs, as it has dogs in the title, and dogs rule. As does Indiana Jones.

Thanks for reading!


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I went to see  Raiders  during its recent re-release. It was great.

I went to see Raiders during its recent re-release. It was great.