Many people want to become writers. Furthermore, a greater number want to become freelance writers. Why? What’s the appeal of freelance writing? If you focus on the “glamorous” side of freelance writing or being your own boss, you may be in for a rude awakening. Make no mistake about it freelance writing is a business and it’s all on your shoulders. You probably didn’t think about that. Keep reading.
Freelance writing is appealing because you’re the boss and able to write from anywhere in the world. All you need is internet access, a laptop or Mac, and cell phone. You may choose to rent a flat (apartment) in the UK for six months. All you have to do is let your clients know where you are and that you’ll continue to provide great service from another part of the world.
Before you become a freelance writer, interview a couple of writers and get their story. How did they get started? What obstacles did they face? How did they overcome them? What were their expectations? What training did they have? What business skills do they have? Getting the answers to these and other questions will help you make a decision about freelance writing. It may not be for you and that’s all right.
Freelance writing takes discipline. Are you easily distracted by Yahoo! IM or social media sites? How will you schedule your time? How good are you at meeting deadlines? How well do you handle pressure? These questions are not meant to scare you. They’re meant to open your eyes to the business side of freelance writing. It’s not all brochure copy, headlines, taglines, newsletters, web copy, and other copy writing. It’s your business!
The business side of freelance writing is almost never addressed. What tax form do you fill out? Are you aware of the tax deductions you can take? Do you know what CPA stands for? Do you know when to file your taxes? How good are you with saving? What are your expenses? What are your income projections for the year? You probably didn’t think about these business questions. They’re important to your freelance writing career.
Before you become a freelance writer, speak to other writers and editors. These people have a wealth of information. They can shed some light on the business side of writing. It’s not all glitz and glamour! You may find that you’d rather work as a contractor for a corporation or at a publication. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s the best decision for you!
What is the appeal of freelance writing? Share your thoughts.