Are you on track to be a real moneymaking freelance writer?
A month or so ago I talked about the myths of freelance writing.
But what, really, does it take to earn a generous living with your writing? What follows are what I consider the basics for making money as a freelance writer.
You need to write reasonably well
Writing reasonably well is key to being a moneymaking freelance writer. But ‘reasonably well’ doesn’t mean you need a collage degree or deep studies in grammar. You do need some concept of complete sentences, simple punctuation, and how paragraphs work. I look back at some of my early, published writing, even after being edited by pros and see how much better I could have been. It was good enough.
You’ve got to read voraciously
Moneymaking freelance writers read widely, even indiscriminately. They read inside their current fields of interest and delve out into strangeness even if they don’t understand. They read fiction of all sorts and non-fiction on a wide variety of topics.
Reading widely not only plants new and interesting ideas in your brain, it also exposes you to writing of all sorts. Consciously or unconsciously you begin to notice the rhythms of published writing and such things as long and short sentences and how authors move from one point to another. As you absorb this information it informs your writing and helps you develop your own, authentic writing voice.
You’ve got to want to write
Writing has to be truly important to you. A moneymaking freelance writer loves the process of writing, or most of it. They actually like writing, not just being published. If you want to be published but don’t like to write you’re fighting an uphill battle. Spend sometime exploring those two concepts and be willing to be honest with yourself.
If you want to be moneymaking freelance writer you must be curious
Successful writers are curious. That’s one of the reasons they read so much. They want to know at least a bit about all sorts of things. Sometimes that curiosity leads them to a life-long passion for a particular topic, sometimes not so much. Either way they wonder and often even feel awe about what they discover.
You’ve got to be disciplined about your writing
Being a disciplined writer can mean any number of things. It might be writing every day, or writing X number of words a week. Your discipline will look different than mine and over time it will change. You may not be good at housekeeping; your car if you have one may be a mess. But if you’re to be a true moneymaking writer you will write regularly, find a way to meet deadlines and to handle enough of the business side, including marketing, to be able to keep writing.
There you have it – the real success secrets of freelance writing. What did I leave out?
Write well and often,