Let’s start this series on how to become a freelance writer by first defining what freelance writing is. Here’s a list of six things that help define what it takes to be a freelance writer.
First, as a freelance writer, you work for yourself. This means that you are considered a type of independent contractor. You pay your own taxes and set up your own office. This gives you a decent amount of flexibility, but it also means you have to be self-motivated and proactive to get things done. It also means learning a variety of skills, including accounting and marketing, and continuing to hone your craft as a writer.
Second, the freedom you experience as a freelance writer means you can set your own schedule. This can be both a blessing and a curse depending on your determination to succeed as a freelancer. You must show the discipline to write daily, make appointments with clients or editors, meet deadlines as soon as you have assignments, and keep track of your submissions and income.
Third, you need to find your own work and get your own leads. As an independent freelance writer, you will be either a man or a woman show in the beginning. You will have to go out and be “busy”. No one knows that you are a skilled writer and available for work unless you make an effort to let them know.
Fourth, you are responsible for meeting deadlines and collaborating with various editors and publishers. Get used to completing tasks on time. Your long-term career depends on it. Learn to make a writing schedule. Know how many words you need to write each day to meet the deadline.
Fifth, you can pursue multiple genres, write magazine articles, books, dedication, business writing. You have to be well-rounded, but in the beginning you have to pick one and know the ins and outs of that particular genre of writing. Concentrate on one thing at a time or you will get overwhelmed.
Sixth, many freelancers are skilled in one or two fields. If they can expand their mind, they will understand that they can make more money by staying on the learning curve. Always give you options. Even if you need to focus on one thing at a time, that doesn’t mean you have to limit your potential income streams as a freelance writer.
Freelance writing offers freedom and flexibility in your personal life. If you’re a self-employed person with a drive to succeed, aren’t afraid to meet new people, and can organize your time and energy, you can be successful in a career as a freelance writer.