Monday, March 14, 2016
Don't Give Up on Freelance Writing too Soon
Since I’m a writing coach, all too often I see people give up on freelance writing too soon.
They quickly manage to get their first writing assignment, but when more assignments don’t come so quickly or easily, after a few weeks (yes, just a few weeks), they often give up and decide the freelance writing life isn’t right for them after all.
They decide to get a regular job – or stick with the regular job they already have.
They still dream about being a writer, so they decide to write a novel in their spare time to keep this dream alive.
This is okay.
But if your dream is to have the freedom (and money) of a fulltime freelance writing career, don’t give up on that dream too soon.
Here’s what to do instead:
1. Make a point of finding 3 writing jobs to apply for every weekday morning.
Notice I didn’t say make of point of looking for 3 writing jobs.
I said make a point of finding 3 writing jobs.
Years ago, when I was starting out as a freelance writer, I quickly discovered that if I just said I was going to look for 3 jobs every weekday morning, many times I looked but didn’t find any jobs to apply for.
But when I changed my goal to actually find 3 writing jobs to apply for and then apply for them, my writing career quickly took off.
Sure, some of the assignments I accepted weren’t my “dream” work, but they gave me experience and income and led to other, better opportunities.
One note here: If you’re confused about which jobs you should apply for on job boards, decide to become an expert at just one or two types of writing services.
Then go after only those types of jobs.
For example, if you want to offer resume writing and related services (like media kits, etc.), then go after only those types of jobs.
When you know exactly the type of jobs you're looking for, you'll be surprised at how quickly you find them.
2. Besides checking job boards, look for writing opportunities on your own.
For example, if you write for children, look through a children’s writers market guide for publishers who hire freelance writers and accept resumes, then send them a cover letter and your resume.
If you want to write for businesses, find several businesses in your area and call and introduce yourself and tell them what you do, or send a letter of introduction to the owners of these businesses.
You can also go to networking events (in person) where local businesses owners go.
This is a great way to find new business clients.
Also, send out queries to local and regional magazines.
I did this when I was just starting and landed a job as a regular columnist for a local publication.
This gave me some income, some great clips for my resume, and some experience working with an editor.
3. Connect with other freelance writers.
Established freelance writers have all sorts of contacts and tend to know about writing opportunities that aren’t advertised.
Surprisingly, most writers are willing to share this information, particularly if a writing opportunity is in an area outside of their expertise or if they’re booked solid and don’t need more work at the moment.
Join a freelance writer’s group (local or online) and make a point of interacting with the other writers in this group regularly.
I’ve gotten all sorts of jobs this way and I’ve also helped other writers get jobs.
Don't give up on a freelance writing career too soon.
Do what it takes to create a little momentum.
Once you do, it won't be long before your writing career really takes off.
For more tips to help you build your freelance writing career, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at www.morningnudge.com.
Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, writing coach, certified life coach, and the author of over 30 published books. Learn more about her services at www.workingwriterscoach.com.