I came across an awesome post by Michael Geffner entitled “My Freelance Writing Secrets.” I enjoyed the post so much that I thought it would be best to not only give him some well deserved credit for writing a great post, but also to put in my two cents on the matter because, after all, this is my blog.
Michael Geffner’s first point is crucial: “Be prepared for a roller coaster ride.” When I started freelancing myself as a writer and an editor, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Lets face it, there’s a lot of competition out there. Some know how to write and some don’t. As I stated before in an earlier post, I don’t believe writers are made, I think they’re born. Writing is either in your blood, or it’s not. Edward Cullen should be able to feed from me and quote Poe after, that’s how I feel.
Michael also hits on the importance of being disciplined. You have to put in the time to get the time. You should be researching new article ideas constantly, and emailing editors to see if you can turn their attention to you. If you think that Random House is going to call you to write a book, think again “sista”, you’re not J.K. Rowling. It’s part of your job as a writer to make publishers and magazines want to publish your ideas and stories. Which brings me to my next point…
If you want your freelancing career to really take off, understand that you have to stand out. There are tons of other writers who think they’re better than you. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re not. Image is everything, and don’t ever forget that. Find an area that you can excel in, for example, if you’re a mother than perhaps writing about parenting would be an avenue to pursue.
Michael also brings up a great point that you should always be hustling. While working on one article or story, start browsing for new ones. This way you’ll always be busy, you’ll always be writing, and you’ll always be building your portfolio. And if you’re a writer, this is crucial for your survival in the field.
Being a freelancer isn’t always easy, trust me. You have to market yourself daily, work this into your schedule. I personally devote three to four hours a day marketing myself. This includes blogging, commenting on other blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, et cetera.
However, if your calling in life is to be a writer and you’re good at it, then don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it or your not good enough. Keep marketing yourself and sending out those queries. One line at a time, you’ll get there.