Freelance Chronicles – It’s a Hard Knock Life

Freelance Chronicles – It’s a Hard Knock Life
October 9, 2015 No Comments » Writing Sam Borthwick

Anyone can be a freelance writer much like anyone can do just about anything if willing to put the time and dedication into it. While it’s incredibly easy to get started in freelancing, especially with the flourishing content mill industry, writing professionally is not for the faint of heart. I could write for days about the amazing pros to writing independently, but reality always comes with its fair share of cons.

So let’s get the negative out of the way. And if you think you’ve still got what it takes, you’ll be writing for dough in no time.

Lack of Respect

Any independent contractor will tell you: Working for yourself carries a stigma with it. Even just the term “freelance” can feel like a dirty word at times. Brace yourself for a lot of questions about how you make ends meet, what your job entails, and a bit of mockery about sitting around at home all day. (I, personally, love working in my pajamas!)

Self-Discipline

If you’re not good at motivating yourself, you will never make it in any freelance industry. Even your time not spent on writing needs to be dedicated to your business, whether it’s hunting for more opportunities, forging new connections, marketing yourself, or anything else. When you’re working from home on your own schedule, this can be a challenge. Be prepared to whip yourself into shape!

Rejection

Inevitably, your work will be rejected. Over and over again. It’s going to sting, and it can feel disheartening. Writers of all sorts need to learn to accept this fact, however, so if you’ve got the conviction to withstand the onslaught of denied submissions you’ll see in freelancing, you’ll be able to move on to the next opportunity that much quicker.

Unreliability

At least right off the bat, you’re not going to see steady, reliable income. It’s going to be up and down, pretty spotty, and very dependent on a combination of your dedication, talent, and luck. As someone who had to dive head-first into freelancing, I’d never recommend it to anyone else. Start slow, keep your day job, and build a clientele slowly.

I will say it until blue in the face: Anyone can be a freelance writer. However, any career move comes with its own set of challenges and restrictions. So long as you’re not discouraged to the point of quitting when you come upon them, you’ll be just fine.

What challenges have you experienced in your professional writing? How did you overcome them?

Stay positive and keep your chin up– Writing is a tough business, but so worth it!

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