We meet so many people each day who wonder how they can get started in the writing business, notably as a freelance writer. After the find out I work from home, without a boss and with no one standing over the shoulder to micromanage, they figure “Hey, I can do that! ” Plus admittedly, on the outset it all looks pretty good. And then, of course , I begin to speak – and they run such as the wind. Because it’s not all fun and games in my corner of the entire world. Writing, even when writing humor, is definitely serious business. So to make my point, I’ll cover a few of the not-so-glamorous sides one must truly consider before taking the plunge to being a full-time freelance writer.
1 . Isolation – While it’s true you won’t have anybody to bother a person with idle office gossip, no heavy cheap-smelling perfume, nor all the other annoyances you might have to deal with when working with other people, the down side is that you likely won’t have anybody. Period. As an one woman who lives alone, I’ve come to embrace my solitude. Maybe because I grew up in a house full of kids (I’m one of nine children). Or maybe because I had simply no choice but to embrace it. Either way I enjoy working alone — most days. But there are days I wish I could bounce an idea off someone else, or call the brainstorming session – and take a look at face it, a brainstorming program of one is basically just me speaking with myself out loud… which might explain exactly why my neighbors think I have problems.
2 . Finances – I was not wealthy by any means when I began become a freelancer full-time, but the one thing that I do have is a wonderful support system. I have 4 of the most beautiful sisters anywhere. After all that sincerely. They knew my goal was to write full-time and they supported me financially until that 1st check came through. Whereas 30 days to repay a loan might cause a riff among family (or friends), they will considered it par for the course. So bottom line, if you don’t have this type of assistance system, and nothing saved in your coffers, you might want to rethink your technique of freelancing full-time. Perhaps a part-time gig here and there, while you work at an actual paying job, is more of a solution until your finances are in order.
3. Procrastination – If you’re person who can’t get started before being reignited by the ideas of others (refer in order to #1), this is not the ideal position to suit your needs. Miss a deadline and you’ll miss the chance to work with that same client again. Ever. And while your clients may not boast to their friends of the great things you’ve done for all of them, they will undoubtedly tell anyone who listens if you (1) stink at this; and (2) miss a deadline day. And remember: if you get no clients, you get no money.
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Accountability : You’ve got to be responsible because you’ll be held accountable. As a freelance writer, you’ll become your own boss. Put simply, “stuff” won’t roll downhill; it can be heading start and end with you. There’ll be no dog-ate-my-homework lame excuses. It’s all you. So if you’re the type of colleague who always finds a method to dodge the disciplinary board simply by blaming everyone else – don’t actually think of freelancing as a profession.
5. Lackluster enthusiasm – You’ve got to ENJOY writing to become a successful freelance author. Because as a freelancer, regardless of your specific niche, you’ll eventually get the humdrum project that no one – possibly not even the client – finds interesting. Still, your job as a writer is to make the content exciting for the reader. If you can’t muster up enthusiasm for the reader, you won’t get the reader’s interest. And sometimes you’ve got to make yourself love the product – even if you really could do without. Otherwise, how otherwise will you persuade the reader to want what the client is selling? (Think “Bariatric Enemas – the Importance of Having One” or “Why Circumcision is a Good Idea at Any Age”. ) ‘Nuff said.
6. Technologically Un-savvy -There’s plenty of software program that would make your life easier, make the work stream smoother, get the project done faster. If you don’t know what those are, you might reach a certain point of achievement, but you won’t be able to “take everything the way. ” Of course , if you’re succeeding enough to hire a sidekick that is also a techie, you’ve solved the problem. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself scratching and clawing at what’s left from the freelance writing pool – having the jobs no one else wants plus which pays the minimal.
7. You better love research : You’ve got to keep your ears peeled. You’ve got to always be on the lookout for that next article, that next client, that following niche. You can’t afford to rest. The only way to keep up is to do the research. I generally spend one to two hours each day on research. I check writing sites frequently to find out which usually types of writing are in high demand, plus which aren’t. Exactly what are they looking for? What’s the going rate? How do I get my foot in the doorway? Admittedly this is a daunting task, when you want to be more than the other 40, 000, 000 freelance writers out there, you gotta get crackin’ at the break of dawn.
8. Family/Friends (A true blessing and a curse) – Once you turn out to be an accomplished writer, family and friends will fall your name and services to any Tom, Dick and Harry — often forgetting to tell you. On a single occasion my sisters and I were in Philadelphia for a weekend getaway. We visited a restaurant in which the service was shoddy, the food has been tepid and the eatery was in the midst of renovations all around us. Actually the painters were rolling their own brushes just three feet away from where our food was being prepared. The place shouldn’t have been open at all. After speaking with the manager, my sister points out, “I just want you to definitely know that my sister here is a country wide published writer and she’s going to write about this experience if we don’t get a break on the bill. ” As you can imagine this put me in an uncomfortable position. In fact , I believe I sat with my mouth gaped open up as I whispered, “What are you referring to? ” But my point is the fact that people, while they might mean simply no harm, will be more than happy to occurs skills for their own personal gain. In the neighbor who needs a letter to the mayor, to the nephew who needs a resume updated, to the uncle who suddenly realizes he has a bestselling novel stuck in his head – one that only you can write. I’m not here to tell you not to help out. Just be sure you get paid for your services. Remember, while you’re working for them, you’re missing out on a job elsewhere. Besides this, everyone will know that you’re serious about your craft.
9. Know the trends – Every single industry revolves. There are always new developments on the horizon. If you want to give an publisher something new and fresh, you better know the trends and they better end up being reliable. You’ve got to dig deep to help keep on top of what’s new. If you think you may get all the info by simply surfing the particular ‘Net, you’re nuts. Subscribe to wellness magazines, or auto club magazines, or whatever subscription caters to your particular niche – and (here’s the most important part) READ THEM! (Don’t forget to keep all your receipts for tax season – you’ll receive a good break for these types of business expenses. )
10. No discount on health benefits – Because I’m my very own boss, I’m 100 percent responsible for my own health benefits. I don’t need to tell you such a pain that is. While there are several plans out there to choose from, it’s all me personally. There’s no employer to pay half the benefits. That alone is cause enough for anyone to seriously consider whether or not they’re willing to forego a secular career to become a freelance writer.