If you lined up a dozen professional freelance writers you might think they didn’t have much in common. At least they certainly wouldn’t look alike. But if you got to know them or a bit about them you’d find they have some things in common.
Here are 7 things you need to really be a professional writer:
You get paid for at least some of the writing you do. Pay is certainly not the only sign of a professional writer, but it is the first one most people think of. You’ve learned how to set your freelance writing fees.
You have some sense of the value of your writing. You’ve discovered, one way or another, that you can write better than many folks and you realize that’s worth something. You treat your writing like a business. Treating your writing like the business it is is more than an attitude, although you need that too. It usually includes at least:
A business checking account. You pay yourself from this account and your business expenses, including savings and taxes.
Business cards. Your business cards make it clear what kind of writing you do and you spread them widely.
A website that shows off your writing talent. These days I don’t think it’s possible to really be in the writing business without a website.
You refuse low paying gigs. You know better than to do writing work that doesn’t pay you what you’re worth. You insist on being paid adequately. This is the flip side of refusing low pay – you’ve learned to quietly, firmly and professionally insist you’re paid adequately.You insist on contracts or letters of agreement with your clients. You know that contracts of some sort, even an informal, but specific email, are necessary, and you make sure they get written.
If you’re just starting out, it may take you a little way to have all seven in place, but it shouldn’t take long.
How do you know you’re really a professional writers?
Image found through Creative Commons search at http://bit.ly/rQ8zME