Freelance writing advice comes in three flavors – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
How do I know? Simple. In my literally decades of writing I’ve often looked for freelance writing advice. I’ve experienced all three types.
Since I give freelance writing advice I suspect I’ve also given both good and bad advice. I’ve tried to avoid the ugly. I’ve got readers who seem to appreciate and use what I suggest for years at a time. Occasionally I run into a detractor.
The quality of any advice about anything is hard to quantify. So much depends on the motivation of both the advice giver and receiver.
Good freelance writing advice
Good freelance writing advice comes from someone whose been in the business awhile. As a rule of thumb, I’d want to know the advice giver had been successfully working as a freelance writer for at least five years. That’s fairly arbitrary. I’ve certainly learned more and more every year I’ve been writing, but by the end of five years I’d figured out the basics.
People who truly want to learn the game of freelance writing, and are not looking for a get rich quick scheme, are most likely to find advice that works for them. Advice that helps is truly a two way street.
Bad freelance writing advice
It’s a judgement call, but I think any advice giver who insists they have the only way is likely to be giving poor freelance writing advice. For example, I’ve found one person who is positively dogmatic that everyone start their day with a cold shower. Now, I have no doubt this works for this person. That does not make cold showers a good idea for me!
Others insist we must write every day. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not the only way to approach writing.
For example, I like to write first thing in the morning. Works for me and has forever. Which doesn’t mean it will work for you.
About the only advice that is always true is to get some writing done, somehow, some way. I’ve said that over and over again, and so have many others.
Ugly freelance writing advice
Scams are where we find most ugly freelance writing advice. Oh, it’s not the only place, but perhaps the most damaging one. The scams involve charging you money, which is NOT to say that all coaches, courses, etc. that cost are scams.
Pay attention to the claims. While it’s possible to write a book in a month or two or three, it’s truly rare to be able to write a good one in that length of time.
Ask for references. If they say no because of privacy concerns, suggest they pass your contact info to a couple of people for the purpose of finding out more. Check the references!
Use Google to double check the person and what they’re offering.
You can also get horrible freelance writing advice in some forums, and from friends and family. You know what I mean – the naysayers who insist it’s impossible to… not only earn a living writing, but doing anything out of the ordinary. Most negative people don’t mean to hurt you. They can damage your outlook regardless of their intention. Listen cautiously. Tell them you don’t want to hear it. Move away from them. Your attitude and your success is up to you.
Pay attention to your intuition! That still, small voice, or persistent thought or the feeling in your gut is there for a reason. Honor it.
Yes, there are a ton of places these days to get good freelance writing advice. This is one of them, but certainly not the only one.
Let us know your favorites in comments.
Write well and often,