You know that great friend of yours who became a painfully successful freelance writer? You know, he’s the one that’s always throwing killer parties and going on awesome vacations? You know that friend? No. You don’t. That person doesn’t exist. Being a freelance writer is not glamorous. It is not romantic or fun. It’s sort of terrible. Of course, freelance jobs has its perks (no boss, you can wear sweatpants to “work”) but let’s be honest. The reason typical jobs are so prevalent in our society is that, most people recognize the inherent beauty of not having to pull out your hair and wonder where you next meal will come from.
You might say to a friend, “I want to be a writer!” Your enthusiasm is cute, really. But before you jump into the shark-infested waters of freelance writing, maybe consider this article a life vest. Cinch it on, hold on tight, and pay attention. You do not want to become a freelance writer. This is why.
Simple Steps to Start a Freelance Writing Career:
Freelance jobs are creative writing jobs and is not just writing for money. It is a form of providing professional writing service to the customers. The following mentioned are few tips on how to become a freelance writer and get paid to write.
1. Unpredictable income: Freelance writing is feast or famine. You might get a big freelance project and feel a sense of elation! You are really making it! You are going to be successful! But inevitably, that elation will disappear when you get a string of low paying jobs and wondering how you’ll pay your rent. It’s like an abusive relationship. The job treats you so well for a while, and then it treats you horribly. But you stick with it because you remember that time it was so good. And the cycle continues.
2. No Health Insurance: This might not be the most exciting topic, but health insurance is sort of important. While nobody hopes to be in a terrible accident or contract an awful illness, it’s the rare person that gets to totally opt out of the pitfalls of being human. At least when you work in a standard office job, you can get treated for these things without too much out of pocket expense. But as mentioned above, freelance writers don’t exactly have piles of cash lying around to pay for medical expenses.
3. Constant Concern From Friends and Family: It’s Sunday night. You’re hanging out with a friend, and she has to leave. You desperately beg for her to stay for one more drink (to escape the never ending work cycle of your life), and she says, “Some of us have real jobs to go to tomorrow.” It sucks. Your mom calls you to make sure you’re eating. And your sister asks if she can help with the bills. It’s hard to stay upbeat when everyone around you is secretly placing bets on how long it will be until you fail. They don’t want you to fail; they just expect it to happen any minute now.
4. Poor Hourly Pay: Depending on how you make your money, you might end up bidding against other freelancers for job. If you and 50 other people bid on a job, you need to make your rate competitive. And because this happens too frequently, clients often come to expect low rates-as if writing is not a valuable and important skill. Some freelancers end up working for only a few dollars an hour. Of course, you’ll read articles online about people who make hundreds of dollars an hour as freelance writers, but those people are few, and far between. And they are not the people just starting out and struggling to get clients.
5. Ridiculous Work Hours: As noted above, the hourly pay is often ridiculously low. To compensate, you might need to take LOTS of work to make ends meet. It’s not uncommon to work 12-16 hour days. Ironically, this is what a lot of people think they are giving up when they pursue a freelance writing jobs. There is no escape from work. Because you are always available, you can always take on more freelance work. And since you’re struggling financially, you feel like you should always take on more work. So, you end up going mad from the stress of it all.
6. Working From Home: When you have had a long day at the office, it feels really great to come home at the end of the day, kick off your shoes, and fire up the Netflix. You’ve earned it! You can leave your office and all the stress that it brings behind you. When you walk in the door, you’re in your safe-haven. But what would it be like if you didn’t have that safe haven? What if home was the place that brought all the stress? Working from home is not all it’s cracked up to be. You wake up in the morning, and you’re at the office. You go to bed at night, and you’re at the office. It’s very hard to try to get away from the realities of home. There’s always laundry to be folded, dishes to be done, and distractions to take your attention away from writing. Inevitably, you have to leave your home to get anything done, and then you end up spending money you don’t have to sit in a coffee shop and cry…
This is just a tiny little fraction of the reality of being a freelance writer. The hours are awful, and the work is sparse or unappealing. You get no respect. You constantly struggle financially, and you are always massively stressed out. Sure, some people are able to break into the world of writing and become successful, We’ve all heard the story of how J.K. Rowling made it big. But it’s like any actor trying to break into Hollywood. Just because Cameron Diaz did it does not mean you can do it. It’s time you stopped listening to the wild success stories. You are not the exception. You are not J.K. Rowling. And trust me, you do not want to risk it all just to someday write your own list like this one. So, stop writing your resignation letter. Go back to your desk, and get involved in some office gossip. This is as good as it’s going to get.
Author Bio: Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content editor at essay writing service EssayMama.com. Kenneth draws his inspiration out of the traveling and sport. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.