In the days of yore, I was a professional freelance writer. Health issues prevented me from working at a traditional occupation, whereas self-employment offered me the opportunity to work according to my day-to-day situation. I’m now a historical fiction and nonfiction author and editor.
As a former legal assistant for 20 years, I was well-versed in writing in a technical and professional manner. I got my start in creative writing in the legal profession. A lawyer would show up in my office, ask me to draw up documents for a court motion that both the lawyer and I knew didn’t stand a chance, and then depart happily. The lawyer’s problem was solved. He or she had dumped it in my lap.
I’d conduct research and dream up the absolute best arguments I could possibly hang any credibility on. I’m not saying we were particularly successful with those court documents, but it was beautiful creative writing. Wrought from my legal knowledge and embellished to the hilt. I never really thought of it as a waste of time; I considered a challenge and quite enjoyed it.
My legal career ended when health issues intervened. Hence, as mentioned above, my second career as a professional freelance writer commenced.
I quickly discovered a sharp learning curve. I worried incessantly about marketing myself. How was I ever going to find gigs? Did I even possess the knowledge and talent? I don’t have a degree or particular higher education. Was that an impediment?
There are sharks feeding in the pond of freelance writing gigs. I’m talking about employers here, not writers. This guppy was easy prey. I was a shark’s dinner more than once. Each time, it was because I was ignorant of underhanded practices. Although I wasn’t too pleased at the time, I learned a valuable lesson. No shark ever ate me twice for the same reason.
I don’t want to give the impression all employers are carnivorous. There’s plenty looking for writers capable of presenting well-researched, excellently written content. If a freelancer provides them with quality work, all of a sudden you have a loyal clientele who comes looking for you, rather than the other way round. I accumulated a good share of these clients, to the point where I hired freelance writers to assist me because my workload became too heavy for one person.
There’s money to be made in the freelance market. My guide will focus on avoidance of pitfalls and lead you through the process of establishing a successful career as a professional freelance career. I’m not promising you’ll make a fortune; that’s unrealistic. But you can earn a very comfortable living.
There are several reasons why freelance writing is attractive:
- extra part-time money
- stay-at-home parents
- persons with disabilities
- those seeking a second source of income
- downsizing of traditional occupations
- full-time career
- pay the bills while you write your best-selling fiction or nonfiction book
There are tricks to the freelance writing trade, as with any occupation. Many aspiring freelance writers attack willy-nilly hoping to land a gig. It doesn’t happen that way. I’ll tell you how I became successful on freelance websites. Your bonus is you will be able to accomplish it much faster than I did. I lost valuable time in more than one shark’s belly.
No degree is required. You can be a freelance writer with expertise based on your life experiences. An insatiable desire to write, willingness for self-growth, inquisitiveness, determination, and a professional attitude are all the attributes you need.
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