As someone who has been freelance for four years, I now feel as though I'm just beginning to figure out what being freelance actually means. Firstly, it can mean pretty much whatever an individual wants it to. So, for me, it doesn't mean that I'm waiting for the phone to ring, hoping that my inbox will ping, basically, for someone to give me work. I am constantly making and creating work; sometimes with around a particular idea, project, or collaborator, but sometimes without clear-cut objectives.
However, there is one very important thing that being freelance means to me, and it is:
• Running a mile from the easy option. Running, as fast as I can, in the opposite direction of whatever easy seems like the easiest thing to do.
If I do that, then I know that I'm more likely to be pulling myself toward a professional space that is individual and uncharted. But that is not to say constant struggle is the way to go. However, everybody - anybody - can do what's easy, and so it becomes crowded and there's little space to express oneself. But by moving into that unknown territory and make one's home there, I know that I'm moving myself further along the road to a largely self-determining, professional career.
I discovered this, and more, when I purchased Seth Godin's Freelancer Course on Udemy. It was money well spent.