Freelance Writing May Not Be For You

Freelance Writing Reality

Many writers might think, “It would be great to write for a living!” This would be true if we had control over what we wrote, and if the pay system worked in our favour. Instead, if you become a freelance writer or a ghost writer for a variety of clients, you will end up writing about the most random topics. Now, this can be fun. I enjoyed researching about new topics and some topics I was particularly passionate about, like health.

Compensation

Pay is another factor. What I found was the real kicker is that freelance writing often pays about the same as a job at McDonald’s – only add an extra two or three hours on top of the average 8 hour shift. If you want to just make ends meet as a freelance writer, you generally have to work long hours especially in the beginning.Sometimes, clients won’t pay due to dissatisfaction, misunderstanding, or out of pure sketchy-ness. I learned the hard way – often after a day’s worth of work on a particular assignment – that some people just won’t pay.

I told my employer after that third situation that I would need a deposit up front for larger assignments, as it’s just assinine to be spending hours on a project and then not get paid. She agreed, but naturally I have been getting less assignments. Which is okay with me now.

Sitting All Day

Another con to writing fulltime (Or even semi full time) is that it takes a lot of your mental energy away from creative writing. At first I could do it, but after a few weeks, the last thing I wanted to do after sitting all day in front of a computer is write for another few hours. I lost a lot of my inspiration.

Everyone is different and maybe writing during the day wouldn’t affect your creative drive at all. Personally, I like moving around throughout the day, so I found out quickly that writing from home all day wasn’t a good fit. I prefer to sit down and write my books after a full day out, interacting with people and solving problems, and walking about. I need that energy from the day in order to thrive creatively in the evening.

Plus, it simply didn’t pay enough. I was so stressed and fell behind in bills because of unpaying clients. And it felt like I was constantly holding out my hand waiting for the next payment.

Writing Is An Art For Some

This isn’t to sound all gloomy, but it’s a first hand account of my experience as a freelance writer. I discovered that writing is an art for me. I enjoy writing blog posts about causes or interesting events as opposed to web content on products or services that don’t matter that much to me. I enjoy writing stories that inspire and entertain.

Freelance Writing Might Be For You

Now, non-creative writers would likely thrive in freelance writing, but you would probably be happier writing for a magazine in the vein of what you are passionate about, or at least for clients that want you to write about that given topic.

Then, there are some people like my boss who just love writing about the most random topics and she thrives on the stress that freelance writing brings. She also isn’t a creative writer.

At the end of the day, I see freelance writing as a great way to earn extra spending money. I write about 2-3 articles per week, and it gives me time to write about things I really want to write about for the rest of the time.

Here’s some further reading for you:

http://allfreelancewriting.com/financial-signs-freelance-writing-isnt-right-for-you/

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/clients-from-hell/

http://www.gradmeetsworld.org/2012/03/16/9-warning-signs-that-you-arent-cut-out-for-freelancing/

I’ve thought about writing for magazines before, as I’d enjoy writing about certain topics, but I am wary of the fact that it still might drain me of my creative writing. Maybe I’m just strange.

 

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