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My Two-Cents Worth on: How to Sustain your Freelance Writing Career
Enough have been said about the technical aspects of becoming a freelance writer. But to write for a living requires more than just a flair for the language. In this looming economy, some job seekers might contemplate writing as a survival option. But before you decide, let me tell you that magazine publishers are also cutting their budget for contributing writers. Only articles that are among the cream of the crop get published. Unless you’re an expert on the subject that you write about or your pitch is refreshing, the chances of success are slim. Before you jump into the writing bandwagon, do your reality checks. Are you able to survive on irregular incomes and quite likely no income for months? Can you come to term that your time spent in writing is also likely not to be compensated monetarily? Can you face rejection for your submission? My intention here is not to discourage you from writing but to discourage you from writing for the wrong reasons. Answer these questions truthfully so that you can enjoy your writing career.
What motivate you to become a freelance writer?
Freelance writing is not a buoy to keep you afloat while you’re looking for that perfect job. Neither it’s an incentive for you to work from home. Many dabble in writing after they’ve lost their jobs; I quit mine to write.
Why do you write?
It may appear to be the same as what motivate you to write but it’s different. Some write to be the next billionaire writer but some write to express themselves. If you treat writing as a business, profit is your bottom line. Writing is my passion. Without doubt getting paid alleviates the worry about bills. My greatest reward, however, is the job satisfaction.
Can you cope with bills?
This is a practical consideration. But I don’t think about bills as I’m writing. No good article can be written with distraction. Think about bills later. Never give up writing even in the direst situation. When I first started, I did not have regular writing jobs. I’d to work part-time to supplement my income from writing. If you give up easily then your passion lies somewhere else.
When do you start to write?
The pitfall of first-time writers is to stop writing new articles and waste time waiting for editor’s reply after sending out their pitch letters. I made that mistake three years ago. Don’t just write for pitching sake; write for leisure too – they complement one another in a writer’s career. This helps to cultivate the habit of writing regularly and reduce writer’s block.
Can you manage your freedom?
Even though you might be writing in your pajamas, there’re still working hours to be observed. You can be flexible with the hours but you can’t be lazy. Other freelance writers suggest putting on your office attire as you write; I believe it’s all in your mind. If you’re determined to be a professional writer, you’d know that each day is a chance for you to get closer to your goal. You wouldn’t waste a single day.
Do you have a favourite author?
Most writers have their favourite authors whom they emulate their literary styles before they develop their own voices. Not all avid readers love to write; but all aspiring writers must to love read.
Are you emotional?
Writers have bionic sensors – they see beyond what others might have overlooked and ponder upon them. To say that great writers are generally emotional is stereotyping. But emotion is a powerful quality when engaged can produce endless ideas for writers.
Do you see impossibility as possibility?
The difference between a dream and a vision is that the latter has a very clear direction – you know what to do and you can imagine your success. A writer can have rich imagination but doubts kill a masterpiece in the making. Being creative is good; being crazy is better. When I’m convinced that an idea is brilliant albeit absurd, I’ll write about it anyway. And publishers like my pitch!
Writing is similar to any creative craft: the skills can be trained; the habits can be cultivated; the interest can be nurtured. Except for the passion for writing which is innate. Some discover it at a young age, some at adulthood. All freelance writers – beginners or established – should have that passion within them. Only then you will never give up writing.
Enjoy your writing journey