Top Things To Consider Before Making A Career Out Of Freelance Writing

Written by: Satarupa Bhattacharya


The tinker of money, dreams laced with dollars and the tapping away at your keyboard—do all of these seem so known to you? When someone asks me why I started writing in the first place, I am often stuck up with these images in mind. However, that in no way means freelance writing is only a money-churning venture that I have clung onto simply because I found nothing else. In my wee-days of freelancing, I was crazily confused-- not merely with anxious questions regarding how much I would earn but with the fear if my love for writing could take me far.

4 years into the world of writing and being neck deep in assignments means that I have overcome such gripping fears. Yet, the anxiety of how sustainable my income would remain over the years still drives me crazy. In case you are looking to take “that” tiny step into my world, here are few tips that could help you judge if you can take “the” leap from being a freelancer to a full-time writer.
  • Did you gauge your interest level neutrally? I am sure you must have found the right ways to bag a content assignment or a content design stint with some organization. No tips here on how to find one though (that could take up an entire post). However, the easiest way to know if you can turn your freelance writing stint into a full time profession is introspecting. Decide on the reason why you forayed into our world. Is it for some quick cash? Or is it because you found that such jobs bring in the moolah and kills your time too? Trust me; these reasons will never get you any far, professionally. Only if you have the passion to write and adapt to ever changing needs of clients, jump into the writing boat. There could be days when you end up Skype-ing for signing a deal and end up not writing at all! That clearly means, you have not earned for the day. In case, you need too much monetary security, the early days could be scary and off putting. Think you can sail through these? You are welcome into the world of full-time writing pros.
  • Are you prepared for setbacks, rejections, harsh emails? Trust me; you will only be able to transit from being a freelancer to a full-timer when you develop slightly thicker skin. Of course, your brain cells will have to get sharper. In the freshman year of my ongoing writing career, I have heard it all—from being labeled un-creative to being tagged dull! Be prepared for burning the midnight oil to key down something you call your masterpiece and then see it being rejected. Some editors even get harsh and question if you have any idea about writing at all. The silver lining here is the consolation that we all make mistakes don’t we?  In case you can bear such a brunt at the beginning of your career, you are ready to make it big as a full-time writer. Of course, you need to learn positively from the criticism heaped on you.
  • Do you know the craft of quoting it right? Here comes the biggest goofy of all! With dreams to make it big in the bad bad world of writing, it was tough for me to set my rates for assignments. Very often, freelancers either over-quote or mostly, under-quote for their services. Now, certainly the mistake is not all ours.
You are fresh, talented and eager to start seeing some cash for what you piece together! However, you will only metamorphose into a successful writer when you know how to set the rate right. Talk to seasoned professionals in your industry. Personally, I have met a helpful bunch of pros on LinkedIn who eagerly dished out advice on this end. Research into what the prevailing rates for content in international markets are. Most importantly, quote as per the market to which your client belongs. Never make the mistake of working for peanuts to merely further your career. This could kill your prospects for once and for all!

On the offing, it comes to my mind that today; I am braver than when I had started out. I have learned to weigh risks, consider deals and finally seal the one I believe would work. Freelancing teaches you “soooo” much. Oh, yes, it gives you a lot even though you begin to realize the returns years later. However, once you develop the confidence of rising to the top while absorbing initial hiccups, the journey is as enjoyable as it is tough. If you think you can write, give it a shot. Who knows, you could be blogging right here-- some time down the line!

About Satarupa: Dreamer, writer and foodie: Satarupa is split into three distinct personalities that find satisfaction in myriad things. A literature grad with a penchant for words and books, she has managed to convert her passion for writing into a profession. From advert copies to video scripts, from corp communications to exciting content, Satarupa has dabbled in all genres of writing. Having “just” landed onto the writing territory in 2010, she has made it home now. She is also a chatterbox in love with quirky things. While Amritsar is one place she is somehow connected with, she aspires to visit any place that can be romantic! A word-monger, addicted to all things that involves travel, movies and awesome food. Check her out here.

7 comments:

  1. The article is very intuitive and directional for those who are planning to become a full-time writer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Its very helpful on how freelance can work. Right now, I am dabbling with freelancing and working as a full timer at the same time. I really wanna make a career out of freelance, rather than doing the 9 to 5 thingy.

    Cheerz

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can so relate to this as I have been a freelance writer for the past 2 and a half years. Each word is true! And very well framed!

    ReplyDelete
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  6. Most of the freelance writers are really afraid about rejections, because they dont give time to understand the client or the website they are writng for.

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