According to popular belief, freelance writers sit around in their pyjamas all day, hunched over a keyboard inhaling coffee.
That’s only partially true.
The reality is, of course, a lot less chaotic.
To paraphrase Liam Neeson, freelance writers have a very particular set of skills (and I’m not just talking about their hard-won writing/editing skills).
The most successful freelancers are:
If you are considering going freelance, it’s not enough to be a brilliant writer. The market is crowded with brilliant writers (great for clients, not so great for those entering the fray).
What will set you apart is the ability to schedule your time effectively, the way you communicate with your clients and your adherence to deadlines.
Because the secret ingredient that all clients are looking for is reliability.
An average writer who consistently files before deadline, is always available for feedback/revisions and can deliver good quality work on a regular basis is far more valuable than the brilliant ingenue who goes dark without warning, turns in their excellent copy days late and cannot follow instructions.
If you want to make a go of freelancing, particularly if it is going to be your only source of income, you are setting up your own business. And building a business takes time, perseverance and a lot of hard work.
Be prepared. Be approachable. Be committed.
For some great guidance from those who’ve taken that route, check out the below resources and links:
- Writer’s Market
- The Balance (not specific to writers, but great tips for entrepreneurs, creative freelancers and small businesses)
- The Write Life
- Elna Cain (seasoned professional sharing tips and advice)