If you’re thinking about becoming a freelance writer, these steps can help you realize your dream.
Some people like the concept of writing without enjoying the actual craft. If you don’t have much experience writing, you might want to take a course. You should also have in mind whether you want to freelance for fun, for extra money, or as a career.
In order to be a freelance writer, you will often need to advocate for yourself in order to gain work and clients. This involves looking for opportunities, following up on emails and sometimes meeting with potential clients.
Be Able to “Just Do It”
You will sometimes find yourself having to meet a deadline for a topic that doesn’t much interest you. In these moments, you’ll need to be able to set goals for yourself. It can also be helpful to use your own writing projects as a reward.
Be Comfortable Alone and With Others
In order to be a freelance writer, you’ll have to enjoy your own company. You’ll also want to be able to motivate yourself to get out of the house and socialize. You can work in a coffee shop, or just meet up with people for pleasant conversation.
You’ll need to be able to have the self-discipline both to generate your own income and to allocate it properly to your financial needs. You will also need good organizational skills in order to manage your work, deadlines, queries and documents.
Ease into It
You don’t have to become a freelance writer in one fell swoop. Instead, you can begin working on it while still doing your day job. As you gain clients and assignments, you can slowly transition into freelancing full time…if that’s your desire.
Be Part of the Writing Community
It’s important to network with others. You can find associations or meet-ups, attend conferences or become part of organizations. These connections will help sustain you and help you hone your craft.
Narrow Your Focus
You can do magazine writing, novels, ghostwriting and marketing just to name a few.
Find magazines on topics you’re interested in, and click on their submission page. Research query letters, and follow up on a query after two weeks. You can also find opportunities through job sites like Indeed.com and Craigslist.
Once you’ve landed a gig, or if you’re sending an article or story you’re hoping will get picked up, it’ll be time to sit down and write.
Build Your Craft
Keep improving, looking for better opportunities, and building connections with the professional contacts you’ve made in the industry.
The most important step to becoming a freelance writer is to begin the journey. As the popular adage goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
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