A Day in A Life of A Freelance Writer: Irwin Rivera

Interested in what it’s like to be a freelancer? We talked to four freelancers from the Philippines to share their story. 

When asked what pushed him to do freelance work, Irwin cited a list of reasons we can all relate to: he likes taking naps in the middle of the day, seeing his wife and cats, enjoying his wife’s cooking, and finally, saving himself from the daily city traffic.

Irwin says that the freelance life is for him because he likes working at his own time, but more importantly, because he has the discipline for it. The freelance life has its own pros and cons. We’ll let Irwin tell you about it below:



Q: What’s the best part about being a freelancer?

You get to know the effective work schedule aligned with your mental and emotional peak periods. So if you work better at night, as I do, or alone and not in a collaborative setting, or in certain places, like your basement or attic, or at certain times – before anyone in the house wakes up or just after midnight and your street is so quiet – you will discover what works for you. After a while, you get a sense of when to take multiple or difficult projects and when to stay with a steady and only okay-paying client and when to burn the candle at both ends. So, when done right, you get more time for yourself, the people you love, and the things on the side you like to do.

Q:What was the turning point that made you decide to be a freelancer?

It would have to be the traffic – the time and energy it steals from you. When it takes so much work to get to work, and then when you get there, you need to work, you end up hating your work.  Freelancing greatly reduces the need to travel, or in my case, face to face meetings with clients.  

Q: How do you typically receive payments from your clients?

I started with PayPal by default, then you go through the usual brouhaha of debit or credit cards, which you have to apply for, and which has stringent requirements. Freelancers don’t usually want to bother with such inconvenience. Actually, no one should have to go through something like that just to arrange a way to get your hard-earned money. As a freelancer, you’re always on the lookout for the best withdrawal system that fits your schedule. My wife and I are night owls, a natural outcome of having US and UK clients, and the usual way of withdrawing money and paying bills is during daylight banking hours, which is when we’re asleep. Maya lets us withdraw our PayPal funds, shop and pay bills online, without having to fall in line or lose sleep in the process.

Q: How has Maya made your life easier as a freelancer?


Q: Can you share a specific pain point that PayPal and Maya have helped address for you?

It’s convenient because when we want to withdraw our payment, it’s faster. My Maya is linked to my PayPal account, the transfer is faster compared to 7 days, ito 3 days lang. And again, when we want to shop online, we find something on Amazon, there’s a Lazada sale going on, we want to impulse buy, pay bills, we can do it.

Q: What advice would you give to those who are considering freelance?

Freelance work is a lifestyle that will not suit everyone. If you want to completely freelance, test out the waters first. Don’t quit your day job. Save up, try small side jobs and then take on work with escalating difficulty. Keep learning. When you go full freelance, you need to accept the fact that there will be drought periods and ups and downs – unless you have a few steady clients. How do you know if you’re ready to quit your job? That’s up to your assessment of your situation – do you have some savings, is your home too far from work, do you have or are you planning to have kids, are you taking care of someone sick? You need to take all of these into consideration.




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*Maya will credit PHP 200 to your Maya account within three (3) business days of PayPal fulfilling an eligible withdrawal. Terms & conditions apply. Read more about the promo here.


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