Luckily, my freelance work has picked up since I "went independent."
Working by yourself, with only yourself as the product for sale, has its challenges. Managing deadlines, difficult clients/potential clients, being alone most of the time, needing support and not having anyone, not having enough hours in the day.
Even as difficult as it can be, I seem to be largely wanted in this industry. Therefore, building my reputation and reel is important to me, so I can eventually earn "real" money later on. Because as of right now, if I'm honest, I am massively undervaluing my services just so I can get work. Narrators and voice artists are underpaid for the work/output we do, particularly in women reading romance/erotica. I need more support in my income to be able to survive.
So if you want me, pay me.