Freelance writing is one of those careers where, on the surface, it looks easy. And it is, to a certain degree. I mean, itís easy to start, costs practically nothing (if you have a computer and an internet connection youíre pretty much ready to go; and it can be done from the comfort of home.
Becoming a Freelance Writer: Do You Have What It Takes?
While it can liberate you from a 9-to-5, there are certain character traits that signal whether this is really a career option you should consider. Following are five of them, in my opinion. As an aside, Iíve been a freelance writer since 1993, so this advice comes with a healthy dose of first-hand experience.
I. Patience: Whether itís waiting for writing jobs to materialize or waiting to get paid, patience is definitely a virtue as a freelance writer.
II. Ability to Work Alone: For the most part, itís just you and your computer. If it wasnít the fact that Iím a runner and am constantly training for my next marathon, thereíd be weeks where I wouldnít leave my house for days at a time.
Itís easy to feel lonely when itís just you and your laptop. I happen to like working like this. Iíve heard from freelancers over the years who donít though. The beautiful part about being a freelance writer is that you can work from anywhere, so itís easy to grab your laptop and go to your local coffee shop or internet cafť if you crave more of a social environment when you work.
III. Ability to Self-Motivate: There is no boss hovering over your shoulders. This is a sword that cuts both ways, however. If you donít operate your freelance writing business Ė like a business Ė youíll soon be out of business!
So, you must be self-motivated to achieve.
IV. No Procrastination: Piggybacking on the last point, if youíre the type who constantly puts things off, youíll find that no writing gigs are materializing Ė and youíll soon be joining the ranks of the 9-to5ers again.
Again, freelance writing is a business Ė one where everything is left up to you. So you canít procrastinate on getting your marketing done; you canít procrastinate on getting a clientís project back to them on schedule; you canít procrastinate on following up on leads; etc.
You. Just. Cant.
V. No Worrying: Freelancing, by its very definition, is an up-and-down existence. If youíre the type who gets severely stressed, anxious or moody if you donít know where your next pay day is coming from, then freelancing will probably have ill effects on your health.
You can mitigate the dry spells by getting on Ė and adhering to Ė a marketing routine. Even then, there will be dry spells, but theyíll be fewer and farther apart.
Take the freelance writerís assessment test to learn more about if you have what it takes to succeed in this career.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company, and is the publisher of Inkwell Editorial, a blog devoted to helping others start successful, home-based writing careers. She's also the author of over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance / SEO writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get trained as an SEO writer and start this lucrative freelance, technical writing business from the comfort of home. You can even get started today.
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