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Are You Full-Time Freelance Writer Material?
By William Ballard
If you are like so many other aspiring freelance writers, you may already know someone who has found success in this line of work. You may admire that person for using his or her creative talents to earn more as an independent freelance writer than he or she ever did working in the 9 to 5 rat race.
And you may desire nothing more than to duplicate his or her successes in your own life. After all, you may have read some of his or her work and have determined that you can create pieces of similar quality writing yourself, and I am most certain you can.
However, being able to write well, having the desire to work from home, and being self-motivated are just a few of the traits that a successful, full-time freelance writer needs to have. If you want to know if you have what it takes to be a full-time freelance writer, consider the following points:
Speed and Intensity
One of the most important traits you need to have to find success in this line of work is the ability to not just write well, but to write with speed and intensity. In fact, I wrote about that very point in an article for Writer's Digest, "What the Marine Corps Taught Me About Writing".
As I mention in that article, it is important to not let your "editor brain" interfere with your "creative brain". For some newbies this can be very difficult at the beginning, but with intentional practice, can be overcome.
If you want to know just how fast you will need to write to make a profit in this line of work, simply take a look at a few freelance writer websites and see what they may be saying, or even have a look at the Writer's Market (AFF). You can determine the typical rate of pay for the type of assignments that you are interested in writing. Then, determine how many articles per day you need to write in order to earn the level of income you want or need to earn.
Most full-time freelance writers write in excess of 8,000, 10,000 or even 15,000 words per day.
Creative Gas Tank - Stamina
As a freelance writer, you will need to write more than just an article or two with speed and intensity if you want to earn a real living at this profession.
To earn a full-time living in this career, you will need to work diligently for the equivalent of full-time hours. Just because you are working from home and you are your own boss does not mean that this is not a real job. You have to set your own schedule and your own hours just like your boss would at the 9 to 5 rate race job.
Some full-time freelance writers do give themselves a mental break in order to break up an eight hour workday. For example, they may work for a few hours in the morning and then run to the grocery store (or run other errands).
They will, however, return home and work a few more hours before taking a second break. How full your creative gas tank (stamina) is will be the critical factor to how well you can preform in this job. After a certain number of hours writing, your brain may begin to bleed (Lord knows mine does), but your quality of work and your writing speed must not lack.
Rest and breaks are important, but are only to be seen as a tool to keep you at the top of your game so that you are churning out quality content that gets the job done.
A Spirit of Excellence Doesn't Mean Perfection...
Some of the clients you work with may never ask you to make revisions, but others will ask for revisions quite regularly. Don't let this discourage you or make you feel bad, freelance writing is a client-oriented profession. If you don’t please your clients, they will go the other way.
In order to maintain your client relationships and keep them coming back for more, you must do what it takes to make them happy, and this may include making multiple revisions to a single piece. Operation with a Spirit of Excellence will get you through these times.
Remember: Operating with a Spirit of Excellence doesn't mean perfection, but that you strive for it every time.
Of course, if revision requests become too burdensome, you may choose to end the professional relationship with that client at any time.
Remember: You are the boss, owner, and manager of your own freelance writing business, and you have the right to work with who you want to work with and say "Good Bye" to the ones you don't.
The fact is that many people can write, but not everyone has the additional traits that it takes to find success and profitability as a full-time freelance writer. If you have the will to succeed in this line of work, however, you may be able to increase your speed and creative gas tank with regular intentional effort.
Now Over To You....
Have you taken the plunge of gone all in a a full-time freelance writer or are you still only putting forth part-time effort? I am anxious to see what you guys have to say about this subject. Please share your thoughts in the comments below...
And don't forget to share this post with anyone that you think may benefit from it.
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About William Ballard
Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Blogger, Inbound Marketing Specialist, and Author, William Ballard, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs, like you, broadcast their message across the Internet (and offline) and be seen as experts in their field.
William, a writer and content creator since 2007, enjoys sharing with others his experience on how to become a successful writer, blogger, and author. View more about William Ballard →