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5 Signs You Really Want to Be a Freelance Writer and Will Probably Succeed

signs you really want to be a freelance writerYou love the idea of being a writer, but you’re not sure it’s really for you. Here are 5 signs you really want to be a freelance writer and will probably succeed.

You read

If you really want to be a freelance writer, you probably read a lot. There is some hook, some connection between reading and successful writing. Noteworthy – The Journal Blog lists 14 reasons why this is so. Any one of those reasons is good enough.

Jeff Goins has a different (yet much the same) take in his Why Writers Need to Read if They Want to Be Good article and provides a much more structured approach. Which will work, and in my opinion isn’t required. And he suggests that it isn’t necessary to finish reading what you start to read which I absolutely love because I’ve discovered that myself.

You research how to become a writer

Another one of the signs you really want to be a freelance writer is you spend some serious time researching how freelance writing works. Google up how to become a freelance writer but don’t go into overwhelm. Poke around. Find some advice that appeals to you and follow it for awhile and see how it works. Don’t be afraid to let go of something that isn’t working and beware of those who promise to make it easy. It isn’t.

You long to be in control of your life

If a daily commute and 40+ hours under florescent lights with little if any control over your destiny isn’t for you, freelance writing can be a way out. Please realize that I’ve been freelancing forever and am prejudiced against regular jobs. There is much to be said about the certainty of income and the predictability of a work week. And even with my attitude there are some jobs I might take – you know, the dream job.


If you’re working and want to move to freelance writing there are many things to consider. Think deeply and if at all possible start writing for clients before you make the leap. And for goodness sake, consider how you will replace any benefits you’re currently getting, like health insurance and paid sick leave and a 401k or other retirement.

You actually test the market

There’s really no reason you can’t begin earning income from writing right now. If you’ve got a job or you’re in school, or in some other full or near to full time situation you can, if you want it badly enough, carve out time to write. You can also use the results of your reaseach to begin to submit your writing or start applying for part time remote writing jobs or get serioulsy started on your book. Whatever your writing dream, you can begin it write now even if you only have 5 minutes a day.

You write

Of all the signs you really want to be a freelance writer the most important one is that you write. Actually putting words on paper, or more realistically, the screen is what will let you become a successful freelance writer. Anything else is simply wishful thinking!

Reading about writing isn’t writing. Planning isn’t writing. Talking about writing isn’t writing. Marketing, although it may involve writing isn’t the kind of writing we’re talking about.

Now, each one of those and more is, one way or another, required for running a profitable writing business, however you define that. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s writing.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



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