I’ve done some freelance writing in my lifetime and it’s always exciting to see my words come to life. Although my writing has been more ghostwriting, especially since the companies I’ve worked for kept the technical pieces and called them their own, there is still a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I did it. Freelancing is what I’ve been wanting to do for some of my favorite magazines and web sites, but I am too chicken to put my toe in the water. Some of the reasons are the hard work that may not pay off, the rejection and the burden of burn out.
I came across a very interesting article written by Robbie Blair at Litreactor.com, here he expresses the ups and downs of freelance writing and what writers should do when they decide to jump into the pool. He provides insight on his own experiences and as a result has a lot of advice that will help newbies stay ahead of the game. Happy writing!
I’d been working as a full-time freelance writer for eight months when I made a startling realization: I had come to hate writing. The craft that I identified with and the ambition I’d had since Jr. High—to make money as a writer—had backfired. I didn’t like the work. I didn’t like my life. I didn’t even like myself.
It’s easy to romanticize the life of a professional writer, but as I quickly discovered, there’s a right way and a wrong way to write for a living. In my four years of full-time freelance work (and three years of part-time gig-seeking), I went through a lot of misery. I also learned a great deal. This article is my attempt to distil those lessons for those among you who are pursuing or have been curious about the the freelance lifestyle. So, to start….
Adjust Your Expectations of the Work
When looking at the freelance field, writers tend to sugar-coat the truth: You know that some writers have to take low-paying gigs when they start out, but surely you are above the cut!
Alas, not only are you average, you’re below average. Without experience in the field, it’s natural to find yourself behind the curve. That won’t last forever, but the success rate of your pitches and the types of opportunities available to you will be limited.
There’s plenty of work for those willing to be word monkeys, but that work will often pay you about a penny per word. Read more here.