If you're a freelance writer – or trying to become a freelance writer – how do you know when you're ready to start charging competitively for your work or add specialized writing services to your list of offerings to potential clients?
As a writing coach, I'm asked that question quite often.
Usually my answer is this.
When you start to feel comfortable and confident about the writing you're producing, then you're probably ready to start charging competitively for it.
So how do you become comfortable and confident about your writing?
You read, read, read the kind of writing you wish to do.
Then you practice, practice, practice.
That is, you try to produce some of this same type of work.
It also helps to take at least a few courses in the type of writing you wish to do.
Screenwriting, copywriting, and writing for children, for example, are all specialized forms of writing.
Don't assume you can produce these types of work simply because you like to read sales letters, or you've read dozens of children's books to your own kids, or you love to go to movies.
You need to learn the "tricks of the trade" of each of these types of writing before you'll really know what you're doing.
Some people might even need a grammar refresher course.
I can't tell you the number of times I see writing where a person is referred to as "that" instead of "who" (as in, "She is the person that will take the job" – instead of – "She is the person who will take the job") and these kinds of mistakes stand out, labeling the writer as someone who needs additional training.
You can't know every single thing there is to know about writing before you start charging.
If that were the case, no one would ever get started as a freelance writer.
Still, you can educate yourself to become an expert in the particular genre you wish to write, and you can brush up on your grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills.
It takes time, practice, and study to become good at anything.
Why should writing be any different?
Take the time to study the type of writing you wish to do, then practice, practice, practice.
One day you'll feel confident and comfortable about your work, and you'll just know you're ready to add certain types of specialized writing to your list of offerings.
As the Working Writer's Coach, Suzanne Lieurance helps people turn their passion for writing into a lucrative career.
She is founder and Director of the Working Writer's Club (membership is free) and offers tips, articles, and additional resources to other writers every weekday morning in The Morning Nudge (which is also free).