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Freelance Writers Actually Sit Down And Write

Questions about freelance writingHi Anne,

I live in Chicago. I’d really like to get into freelance writing and I have a lot of ideas.

Sometimes, because I’m in a big city, I’m worried that my idea has already been covered or is too broad. I have a hard time narrowing it down to a specific group of people.

I love food and restaurants. That’s a big culture here and I’d love to share my experiences via writing but I also have a hard time trying to figure out where to pitch the idea.

I get so frustrated or overwhelmed with how many publications there are that I just don’t even try.

Please help me figure this out.

Thanks for your words of wisdom,


Hi EW,

(Sigh) You remember the old joke about getting to Carnegie Hall? Well freelance writing is like that. If you truly want to be a freelance writer you will find a way to sit down and write. There’s no other way to do it, no magic advice or wisdom I have – you simply have to write.

And once you’ve written, you’ve got to edit your writing and polish it until it’s as good as you can make it without getting into a never-finishing loop.

Finally, you’ve got to send it off.

Yes, many of your ideas are too broad. That’s true for all of us. Every Writing Project Needs a Purpose Statement can help you hone it so it works.

Probably much of what you want to write about has already been written about. But it’s never been written about by you. That’s what you bring to the table, your unique view and voice.

Yes, there are lots of publications in Chicago and elsewhere. You can either go into overwhelm and let that stop you or you can pick one and try an article there; pick another and write and submit, and keep doing this until something takes.

Breaking into restaurant reviews isn’t easy but some of the alternative publications (isn’t there a Chicago Reader?) may want your nattering about food or the lakes or the traffic or… well, who knows what.

There really isn’t so much to figure out – it really begins with the doing.

If by some chance you’re not subscribed to the newsletter you may want to because it comes with a free ebook that addresses just this. Writing, Rewriting and Marketing – the three real keys to freelance writing.

Do you have a question about freelance writing? Ask Anne, The Writing Pro – that’s me 😉 Ask in the comments or send an email and put Q&A in the subject line so I can sort it out from spam and I’ll do my best. Meanwhile, you’ll find some Q&A’s here: Ask Anne, The Pro Writer

Write well and often,


Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • I think it’s not the sitting down and writing here that’s a problem — it’s the sitting down and marketing. New writers often get overwhelmed by all the possible markets out there and then do nothing — I get this a lot with my mentees.

    Have to set yourself some deadlines and goals, as in I will send one new query a week to a new market. Pick one that looks promising and just hit them up. Next week, move on to the next, and so on.

    It seems like a tough hurdle getting over the research phase and into the action phase of putting yourself out there and asking for gigs. Go get ’em, EW!
    .-= Carol Tice´s last blog ..Tips for Avoiding Loser Writing Clients =-.

    • Anne

      Really Carol? Not that I doubt your observation about your clients. Oh, I see… I actually consider writing a query as part of writing… and you’re right, it’s also marketing.

  • have you ever tried one of those mental maps? I teach that in my writing classes to help people narrow down focus.
    .-= Allena´s last blog ..Successful Freelance Writing Can Be Scary =-.

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