If You Want to be a Freelance Writer–Read This First
- consistently disciplined and motivated?
- conscientious about delivering articles on time?
- able to quickly and efficiently perform research?
- so creative and imaginative that you provide clients with dynamic content all the time?
- aware of the definition of plagiarism?
- able to adapt to different writing styles?
- able to graciously accept constructive criticism from “knowledgeable” editors?
If you honestly said “yes” to all these questions, then by all means, continue reading.
5 Reasons Why Freelance Writing is the Hardest Job in the World:
1. Clients think it takes you five minutes (or less) to write a 500-word article–so they consider it completely reasonable to pay you one penny per word.
2. You feel tremendous guilt and anxiety when you aren’t on the computer writing or searching for work. In fact, on those rare times when you are actually socializing, people constantly ask you if you are OK and then move cautiously away from you.
3. Second-guessing yourself 24/7 is second nature. Examples: Am I good enough? How many other writers are 20 times better than me? Will I suddenly “forget” how to write?
4. Out of every 10 clients you work with, at least one will be rude and impossible. Inevitably, that one barbaric client will ruin an otherwise good day.
5. On “dry” days, you will suffer rampant paranoid thoughts. Will I find work again? Is my career over? Will anybody send me assignments ever again? Are sunspots going to destroy the Earth tomorrow?
Still with me? Then you may have what it takes.
5 Pieces of Advice for Surviving Freelance Writing
1. Do not miss a deadline, even if you have to crawl to your computer because both legs are broken or you are paralyzed from the waist down. Never miss deadlines. Clients want reliability in a freelance writer over and above all other traits. Creativity is good, talent is great but reliability is best.
2. Learn how to be as flexible as a contortionist and as tolerant as a dog in a household containing six cats. Clients are going to ask for revisions and rewrites, expect you to exhibit exceptional psychic abilities and make your blood boil like volcanic lava.
3. Never hesitate to demand clients pay you on time. Many clients assume your freelancing job is something you do just to fill the long, lonely hours after your real job is over for the day. Tell clients who consistently pay late to find another writer who doesn’t need to eat and pay bills.
4. If you stumble across a website proclaiming “freelance writers wanted,” make sure it’s an upstanding site with a professional reputation. Some content writing sites are nothing more than fly-by-nights that pay you initially, soon stop paying you, give you the run-around and just close up shop without warning.
5. Get a firm grip on the tendency to procrastinate. Spend a few hours reading about the psychology of procrastination, why writers are prone to procrastinating and why you may be procrastinating.
Stephen King once said: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
Kimberly M has been a freelance writer for over 15 years. Specializing in writing health, medical and human psychology articles, she also dabbles in writing creative non-fiction and fiction on the side.