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Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Freelance Writing Journey

What a difference a year makes. In February 2006 I was into my second month as a freelancing WAHM. I had given up my job the previous August, done some teaching in September to December, and finally part company with my old employer at Christmas. I had made a measly GBP50 for writing some content for one of my old students, and I had just started writing for Inspired Author. Although I was a writer, I wasn't really making any money. I was lucky, though. I had a solid 19 years of writing experience behind me, so at least I had some skills to put on the table.

With IA and my two new blogs, I learned to write for the web, to address my audience directly and to develop a rapport with people I had only met in the virtual world. I was able to use these new skills to write for a number of sites and agency and to make money from writing. It took six months to replace my part time salary from lecturing. (Don't anyone get jealous; freelance writing income fluctuates, so I have had good and bad months since then. However, it was an important psychological milestone, because I knew then that freelancing was viable.)

Just over a year on, things have changed again. I make a reasonable living from freelancing, and have enough work (most of the time anyway) to pass some on to other writers. I didn't expect that deciding to go freelance would lead to becoming an agent for other writers, but I am always open to new opportunities.

I've learned a lot in the last year and a bit. I've learned that if you are willing to invest a bit of time in your future, you will gain something. When I started writing for IA, it was on the promise of future earnings. While I was waiting, I used those articles as a platform for getting other writing work. And I now earn money from those articles every day.

I've learned that it is essential to talk to other work at home writers. They keep me sane. We can share our joys, woes and warnings, which makes the job better for all of us.

Most of all, I have learned that it IS possible to succeed as a freelance writer, even if you are doing it on top of a full time job and while children clamour for attention. All you have to do is look out for the opportunities and grab them - you might get back more than you bargained for.

The most important things I did to jump start my freelance writing career were:

What were the most important things you did to start yours?


Dana Prince said...

Great advice, Sharon...It's been a very interesting journey with lots of highs and lows for me. It's definitely mostly highs as I am still astounded that people are paying me to write.
While there are busy times and dry times, this is lucrative overall.
I love that I don't have to epitomize the starving writer, lol.

BloggingWriter said...

No, starving would definitely not be fun, Dana. We are lucky to be able to earn money from doing something that we love.