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5 Myths Of Freelance Writing

freelance mythsOne of the myths of freelance writing is the notion that the writer has total freedom. Sorry to tell you it aint’ exactly so.

Here are the 5 biggest myths of freelancing for writers:

  1. You can work only on what you want to work on. Jenn Mattern has a great guest post on her AllFreelanceWriting.com. It’s called Doing What You Love or Loving What You Do by Rebecca Garland. As she points out we really can choose to love what we’re doing, and this includes writing that doesn’t quite match our creative dreams.
  2. You can work a 4 hour week or less. Carol Tice blows this one up with her Tim Ferris and the Myth of the 4-hour workweek. Running your own business well takes time – serious time and unless you’re willing to invest that time you probably won’t make it. That doesn’t mean you can’t be smarter about time than the way many corporate jobs are organized, but…

  3. A corollary of the myth of the 4 hour work week is the notion that you can sleep as late as you want. Well maybe, if you get up and spend the time you need to spend to build your writing business. You don’t have to get up as early as I do, but then I don’t have to stay up as late as you do.
  4. Once you get started, the work will keep rolling in. Ha! You’ve got to market. Lori Widmer talks about Mixing Up Your Marketing; and if it’s on or before Dec. 7, 2010, Carol Tice and I are giving a class called 40 Ways To Market Your Writing.
  5. You’re a creative; you don’t have to pay attention to the business side of things. You don’t have to become a business maven, but you to have to track your income and expenses and do some planning if you want to be successful.

Does this mean freelancing can’t be fun and profitable? No, not at all! It just means you need to pay attention to your business and, if you’re just getting started, have a clear idea of what you’re getting into.

What myth have I left out?

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Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Lauri

    I’ll add to this list the following:

    6) Full-time writers must be starving artists (Helen Chang particularly loathes this myth, and with good reason!)
    7) Full-time writers are working on the Great American Novel (there is a lot of unglamorous writing out there that I am happy to be paid to do)
    8) You can make your own schedule (I suppose you could work at odd hours of your choosing, but the clients you have to touch base with constantly probably wouldn’t be too happy about it!)
    9) Freelance writers are in great shape, because they can ditch out and go to yoga or for a jog whenever they feel like (OK, maybe this one is more personal, but I feel chained to my desk more than I ever did when I worked in-house!)
    10) People freelance in between their “real” jobs (I did this until I finally gave up and realized that freelancing was my real job)

    These are all variations on what you have above. Good post!

  • Anne, this is an excellent list. All five points are important, but what sticks with me today is #1.

    I put in a high bid for a large project a year ago after a nonprofit found my website. I knew little about the subject matter and told them so, and I didn’t think they’d hire me. They did.

    The work has been difficult and occasionally frustrating, but I’ve learned a lot and it’s been my highest per-hour pay of 2010.
    John Soares recently posted..Top 10 Ways to Generate Great IdeasMy Profile

    • Love these stories John, just love ’em.

  • Great list Anne, and looks like great minds are thinking alike this morning — see the title of my post today!
    Carol Tice recently posted..Blogging- Tim Ferriss and the Myth of The 4-Hour WorkweekMy Profile

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