Today, please welcome Cassie Phillips to the blog!
Cassie is a blogger for Secure Thoughts. She’s spent several years working as a freelance writer, so she’s very familiar with the particular challenges freelancers face. She’s also an excellent procrastinator and spends way too much time “researching” cat videos online. Follow her on Facebook.
If you love to write, you might be considering becoming a freelance writer. Writing can be a truly fulfilling career. But, like any career, it does have its own challenges. So before you quit your day job, check if you’re cut out to be a freelance writer. The following questions should help you find out.
Do You Love Writing?
Okay, this may seem blatantly obvious, but if you don’t enjoy writing, you shouldn’t try to make a career out of it—especially not if you intend to work for yourself. Who knows what you’ll end up doing with your time if you don’t have a boss’s beady eye on you. Doing something you hate is infinitely harder when you don’t have anyone to answer to. It’s also incredibly draining to spend all your time doing work you don’t like.
Given that you’re reading this, you probably do enjoy writing. If this is the case, then freelance writing may be a viable career option for you. Writing can be a very satisfying way to spend your time. So if you take pleasure from doing it, it might be an excellent career choice for you.
Do You Have Enough Discipline?
Have you ever had to force yourself to do a workout when you could’ve been reading a book instead or cook a healthy meal rather than eat breakfast cereal for dinner? Like most of us, you’ve probably been there. Freelance work can be quite a similar experience at times. No matter how much you love writing, you’ll occasionally (or even regularly!) struggle to force yourself to write. You’ll probably end up procrastinating. After all, the garage won’t tidy itself.
Freelance work requires discipline, no matter how passionate you are about writing. So it’s essential you have the discipline to work when you need to do so. There will definitely be times when you’ll have to draw on all your strength to get yourself to work. Luckily, there are a few tricks that can make it easier. For example, establishing a routine is a good way to keep on top of your work.
Do You Have the Tools to Write?
As a freelance writer, you’ll need a few tools. Obviously, you’ll need a desktop computer, laptop or tablet to write on. Even if you enjoy writing by hand, you’ll eventually need to send your work to someone. You’re not likely to find anyone who’ll be willing to accept handwritten work. This means you’ll need some sort of computer. You’ll also need a place to write and a reliable internet connection. If you don’t have a reliable internet connection at home, you can always write in a place that has public WiFi.
If you do write in a public place, such as a coffee shop, it’s important you protect yourself. Public WiFi is not very secure, so you should use reputable security software. Install anti-virus software to protect your laptop from malware, a Virtual Private Network to secure your internet connection and a firewall to keep hackers out. The last thing you want is to lose all your precious work when a virus or hacker wipes all the data off your laptop.
Do You Have a Backup Plan?
If you intend to earn a living as a freelance writer, you need to have a backup plan. Unless you can find steady work or magically become a best-selling author overnight (that doesn’t happen often), you need to have another way of supporting yourself. It also takes time to establish a good freelancer reputation, so you might need to have another way to earn money initially anyway. Consider some other ways to earn money online while you grow your reputation.
You don’t need a backup plan if you don’t intend to be a full-time freelance writer. If you enjoy your regular job and want to keep it, you can always do freelance writing in your spare time. In this case, money won’t be an issue. You can always turn to full-time freelance writing later if you’re successful enough.
Freelance wiring can be an incredible career, whether full-time or part-time. So if you answered yes to the questions above (or can make a few changes in order to answer yes), go ahead and give it a try.
Are you trying to become a freelance writer? What obstacles have you faced? What has made it easier for you to do freelance work? Share your experience in the comments!