I can (and frequently do) dream. Vigorously.
And that's the first advantage: I couldn't talk about cheerleaders while not wearing pants in any other work environment without getting fired. But there's much more to working online than a complete lack of believability and clothing (although a quick search will confirm that that's how most people work online). But we're talking about writers, who show off their feelings and minds instead of their taut bodies. So what can you look forward to from a career in soul porn?
Comments are everywhere. Every article about writing online has to mention this god-awful background radiation, just like Fukushima real estate agents, with the same effect on people thinking of moving there. Given the choice between commenters and an actual zombie plague, many would choose the complete downfall of society into necrotic corpses, because at least then they'd be able to thump the brainless sacks of flesh. It's like Dawn of the Dead, but instead of your brain they want to rip up and shit out its products.
But here's the thing: Commenters really are like radiation, in that they can generate an uninterrupted stream of pure power. The mistake most people make is thinking that comments are direct current, so they only pump you up when they're positive. But they're alternating current: Commenters who say nice things boost your spirits, so you're happy you made them happy, while the ones who tell you you're a dickosauric fagger make you even happier to have pissed them off. Homophobia, racism, multiple exclamation marks, or a username which meant they sat down and thought, "AIDS is hilarious and I want to be associated with it by complete strangers" ... you're always left thinking, "If that asshole hates me, I must be doing something right!"
The funniest are people making multiple spelling errors while complaining about your writing. It's like the Hindenburg's captain criticizing your fire safety.
For me, becoming a freelancer was like becoming Dr. Manhattan: It started by accident, I now do awesome things I couldn't do before and pants have become less and less necessary.
Likewise, my wife just stands and watches. Impressed.
But the freedom of a freelancer isn't just to flop around the workplace. Although that is a huge part of it (ladies). If you work online, your friends say it must be brilliant to set your own hours, to which you reply, "Yes. All of them." But the point is that you are only paid to get the work done. If you don't realize how glorious that is, it's because you've never had a job. Every workplace I've ever seen or heard of is crippled by regulations, directives and a webbing of rules designed to prevent lawsuits, laziness and criminals. If you're very good, you might even get some work done in between. This morass of guidelines is aimed at people who can't be trusted to tie their own shoelaces, never mind do their own jobs. Think about it: Would it make a speck of difference if your work was completed from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.to 5 p.m.?
When you work freelance, your pay is determined by how hard you work, how hard you work at selling that work and exactly nothing else. If arriving to work in SpongeBob underpants with a cigar ups your productivity, "H" and "R" are just two of the letters you'll use to earn money while smoking with your crotch in a pineapple under the sea. Working online means your commute is about five seconds, longer if you drop in for a coffee or a shot of whiskey on the way, and nobody cares which. Just get the work done and you get paid. Like every job ever was meant to be.
The world of the online writer is a sci-fi utopiaville. Every public transportation vehicle has free seats, stores are staffed and empty, banks are utterly without lines. There's even the total impossibility of post and government offices open at a time you can go to them.
There are absolutely no other customers, so I'm just going to do your taxes while you're here.
It turns out that every business is open the whole day, not just at lunchtime and after five when all the people with jobs and money are free to use them. Which is a bit weird when you think about it. You'd think cable companies would understand that people who pay for cable must be getting that money from somewhere, and offer installation times like 5 to 7 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., but that's because you can think and therefore don't work for those companies. Or you understand that they can't because of the same rules your workplace has.
If you work online, you just use things when other people don't. The time saving alone is an effective 10 percent raise in pay, and an increase in quality of life while doing that. Which is good, because you'll be up until 3 a.m. finishing your work, and have started to resent wasting time on non-word things.