Should I Be A Freelance Writer? 7 Ways To Tell

The appeal of a flexible schedule, being your own boss, and working from home make freelance writing seem like a dream job. Well, it can be. 

It can be a career, a business, but it’s not for everybody.  Being a successful freelance writer takes hard work and in the beginning, life is really hard. 

Just like any small business, it takes time, dedication, and passion.  If you answer yes to the questions below, you should be a freelance writer.

Do you actually like writing?

Yea sure, everybody thinks they can write, but can you? And more importantly, do you enjoy it? In order to be successful, in anything (and happy too), you need to like it. 

If writing isn’t particularly your thing, there are plenty of other work from home, computer based jobs.  Freelance writing isn’t novels and journal writing in the beginning, at least not the type of novels you want to write. 

It’s either strange animal domestication or erotica.  You have to like writing, because you are going to write a lot of things you have no desire to write. You have to be a decent writer too.  You’re not writing flowery poems that are open to interpretation. 

For the most part, you are writing business material and nonfiction. If you are passionate about writing and good at it, you should be a freelance writer.

Are you realistic about what being a “new” employee means?

Yes, freelance is working for yourself, but ultimately, you are working for clients.  You need to be realistic in meeting client goals. 

Also, freelancers need to be realistic in the demands of the trade.  It is not easy to get work in the beginning, and the work can be less than favorable. 

Are you willing to write things you don’t really want to and for menial money? If you are ready and willing to put in time and work, you may have found your calling. 

You also have to be realistic in your time management.  Are you good at scheduling and using your time accordingly?

Can you easily adapt? Can you handle curve balls?

Freelancers are jacks of all trades.  They have to be able to handle all types of situations and people.  You may be asked to write in new styles, as well as use new formatting. 

Can you handle the unpredictable?  If you can, you should be a freelance writer.  It is a great opportunity to learn and grow, that is, if you are receptive to it. 

Clients will even ask you to use specific software and websites, like DropBox and WordPress.   Are you willing to install and use new programs?  The more you can mold and learn, the more successful you will be in this industry.

Are you a self-motivated and disciplined individual? 

It is easy to get distracted when you don’t have a nagging boss on your hands, it is also easy to lose time.  In order to be a successful freelance writer, you have to be able to prioritize your time and organize.  

Long coffee breaks and the beach are tempting, but these distractions will not make you a lucrative writer.  If you lack will-power, this is not the field for you.  You have to be able to say no to temptation and plan your days accordingly.

Are you bold enough to market yourself? 

Businesses thrive off of marketing and advertising.  Can you sell yourself? Are you confident enough and willing to do the legwork?

Freelancers need ambition.  If you are a go-getter that is not afraid to put yourself out there, you can do this.  Freelance writing is not just about writing paid work. 

It is about blogging, creating a professional website, cold pitching, and daily checking of websites and job boards.  If you are brave and diligent, you have the upper hand, and you can be a prosperous writer.

Do you like learning new things? 

The harsh reality is that as a new freelance writer you are not going to write what you want to in the beginning, unless you are very, very fortunate.  

That happens too, but for the most part, you’re gonna have to like learning and have some curiosity.  This is necessary because you can only write what you know, and you may not know exactly what the client wants or much about the topic.

Researcher is just another hat the freelancer has to wear.  Good freelance writers know how to conduct research.  A required job trait for a successful freelancer would be being able to have fun with the unknown.

Do you have thick skin? 

Satisfying clients doesn’t always come easily.  You shouldn’t be a freelance writer if you can’t handle negative feedback or constructive criticism.  You will have both. Sometimes, freelancers even have to deal with difficult clients. 

Can you handle the scrutiny and pressure?  You will face rejection too. You will face all of these things, and they will either break you or make you a better writer.  If you can handle the pressure, jump on in!!!!

If you answered yes to these questions, then you should pursue a career in the writing for hire industry.  It can be arduous and tedious, but with time and patience, it can prove to be as successful a career as any other.

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