What It’s REALLY Like to Break Into Freelance Writing – by James Leatherman

What It’s REALLY Like to Break Into Freelance Writing – by James Leatherman

So, you’ve decided to become a freelance writer. You’ve been told that you can work whenever and wherever you want. You’ve read tons of articles talking about making a writer’s website, pitching to clients, creating clips, and guest posting to boost your visibility. Now, it’s time to sit back and watch the clients come rolling in. Right?

WRONG.

Freelance writing isn’t for the faint of heart, and it’s certainly not easy money. It took me over a month to even get a response when I first started. That was because I had a lot to learn. So, here are some things you should know about what it’s really like to be a freelance writer (and how to survive the rough road ahead).

You won’t make money right away

Unless you have previous writing experience, and some already published work, you’re not going to land a paying gig right away. It took me two months to land my first paying assignment. And, four months after that before I made my first $500.

This is a great paying career for those who are patient. It’s going to take time for you to build a decent set of clips, and create the base necessary for landing your first gig.

The key to this game is to always be looking for opportunity. Will Smith once said: “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” Keep sending out queries. The money will come eventually.

Most of your queries will go completely ignored

This is, perhaps, the most frustrating element of freelance writing. In order to land writing assignments, you have to stand out among the utterly overwhelming amount of competition. In order to stand out, you have to deliver a personal touch to every query sent.

So, you spend all this time researching the person you are going to contact. You write up (what you think is) the perfect query, and you fire it off, assured in the fact that you are going to land the job.

And then…nothing happens.

So, you do it again. And nothing happens again…and again…and again. I sent out over 30 queries before I even got a response. When I got that response, they told me that they liked me, but that other people were willing to work for less money.

This is a numbers game. Sometimes your queries go completely ignored because of the overwhelming amount of responses a company gets. Persevere. Don’t take it personally. I’ve really only gotten one actual rejection based on my talent. Most of the time, it’s just your application not standing out enough to grab their attention.

You can’t do this part time

I hate to burst your bubble but if you think you’re going to do this for a couple hours a few evenings a week, then be prepared to eat ramen noodles. You may eventually get to a place where you aren’t working all of the time but, to build enough momentum to get to that place, you have to hustle.

I try to send out at least five queries per day. This can take several hours all by itself. When you start landing clients, then you throw in actually writing stuff on top of the long querying process. You will be at the grind for several months before you can build enough momentum to decide how much you want to work. But, if you work hard enough, and if you’re a good writer, it will eventually happen.

Expect to work hard in the beginning. Expect to go through a huge gamut of emotions including frustration, anger, and outright despair. You may want to pull your hair out, but go outside and take a deep breath. Center yourself and get back to it. If you truly have your heart set on being a full-time freelance writer, you CAN do it!

RELATED

James Leatherman is a teacher, freelance writer, and owner of Leatherman Media. His passions are reading, writing, hiking, and traveling. You can find more articles like this on his website, Happy Mindsets.

 



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

 



33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters



I admire any writer who wants to tackle a blind character. But so many writers take up this challenge and FAIL. They research blindness by reading other fiction books, by observing their blind colleagues and acquaintances, and by tying on a blindfold and pretending to be blind themselves.



I understand the challenges your characters face, their triumphs, their hopes and their fears, because I've lived them. I work with people who have varying degrees of blindness every day, so I've seen every challenge, every situation you could imagine.



Let me share my knowledge to improve your writing. You can create blind characters that readers will fall in love with.

~Stephanie Green

 



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.







http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 

One Response to "What It’s REALLY Like to Break Into Freelance Writing – by James Leatherman"

  1. allegrettoart3@cs.com  July 12, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Excellent article!