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 non-fiction author, my true passion.
As a former legal assistant for 20 years, I was well-versed in writing in a technical and professional manner. I always say 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. Virtual Freelance Writer ~ Real Money 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 comfortable living.
There are several reasons why freelance writing is attractive:
- extra part-time money
- downsizing of traditional occupations
- full-time career
- pay the bills while you write your best-selling fiction novel or non-fiction book (at least you’re still writing)
and the list of potential freelance writers is only as limited as your imagination:
- stay-at-home parents
- persons with disabilities
- writers who live to write.
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 3 freelance websites. Bonus for you is you’ll be able to do it much faster than I did. I lost valuable time in more than one shark’s belly.
Virtual Freelance Writer ~ Real Income is written completely from my own experiences. The process I set out to build a portfolio, gain a reputation and retain loyal clients is entirely of my own making. It is a “nuts and bolts” guidebook. Fluff and filler are not tricks I approve of in the freelance trade nor Virtual Freelance Writer ~ Real Income.
Starting a new career is always intimidating. A little advice along the way can help reduce stress and build confidence. Yes, you can be a freelance writer with expertise based on your life experiences.
After Virtual Freelance Writer ~ Real Income is published, I am seriously considering small group mentoring sessions if you feel you need a little guidance or confidence boost as you commence your freelance writing career. More on this will be upcoming in the future months. I am doing “beta” mentoring sessions right now and, so far, love it. It’s an opportunity for students and myself to grow as I write this book. A win-win situation.
I love telling people when they ask me what I do for a living, “I’m a freelance writer” or “I’m an author”. For some reason, it’s almost as good as saying “neurosurgeon” judging by the reactions.
I’ll be posting bits and pieces as I journey through the writing of this guide. Hope you tag along for the ride!