The Challenge of Being A Freelance Writer

Courtesy of The Paris Review, Issue 18, 1958
Courtesy of The Paris Review, Issue 18, 1958

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia". ~ E.L. Doctorow



Personally, being a freelance writer, is a way to be heard, published and earn a living. But, the life of a freelance journalist can be very challenging unless you develop specific habits that increase your likelihood of success. The written word is such a powerful tool. It can inform. It can instruct. It can express emotion. It can evoke thoughts and feelings. It can entertain. Writing is very theraputic, a pure invisible psychoanalyst, life coach, cheerleader and nurturer. The author has the freedom to steer his prose in any direction he sees fit. In this day and age, almost everyone has the opportunity, through the internet, to reach out to the the world, spreading his word. Do you enjoy writing? Do you have a personal blog? If not, you should. There are dozens of free online blogging services (Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr etc.). But, can your writing skills lead to a professional career?

The Challenge

I've always cherished the written word. Whether it be a personal journal in a black marble notebook or online creating posts for the several blogs I've established. Throughout the past year, I've discovered many other online avenues to express myself . And, believe it or not, even been given the opportunity to make money writing on subjects I enjoy sharing or have some expertise in. My articles have been published all over the internet at sites like HubPages, RedGage and Tumblr . As my skills have improved and my journalistic confidence bolstered, I feel my Voice has been established. Freelancing was the next step. But, being a freelance writer takes a certain amount of discipline and structure to be successful.


My Tips And Techniques


* Consistency and Persistence You absolutely have to write everyday! There's no getting around this fact. Your writing doesn't necessarily have to be a contractual assignment. It could be a blog post or commenting on other peoples work, just find a place to practice, improve and elevate your skills. This habit will also teach you how to work through the dreaded "writers block". It forces you to produce. You can always edit later.

* Set aside at least an hour a day to Read This does not include your research reading for freelance articles. Search out established, successful writers and get a feel for their style, voice and technique. Incorporate what you feel will improve your writing.

* Establish Your "Voice" Don't just write "words". Have a personal conversation with your readers. Write like you speak, authentically and sincerely. Your Voice is definitely the most important aspect of developing as a journalist. By establishing your voice, you connect with your audience, make them feel comfortable and keep them coming back.

* Have Fun!!! Choose topics you enjoy writing about, have expertise in or you would love to learn more about.

* Cherish your feedback Whether it be your readers' comments or your editors' critique, use it as a learning tool. If it's positive, build on it, if it's negative, don't take it personally. Take the advice and be a better writer!

Being a freelance writer can be a challenge, but the thrill of your writing being exposed to millions of readers, knowing that your giving them useful information or helping make their life more enjoyable and manageable is rewarding in itself.

If this was enjoyable, helpful or inspiring, please help this freelance writer on his journey to journalistic immortality. Ciao!!!


More by this Author


Comments 54 comments

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Challenging. The challenge is the discipline to sit down and write when nothing comes. To write everyday is not easy.

Thanks for the great suggestions.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Thanks for some direction.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

~msorensson.... You have to force yourself, the words will come in due time. Trust me. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Glad you found it helpful, Ciao!

~lifegate.... Good to meet you. These tips are things that have worked for me over time. Welcome to Hubpages! Enjoy yourself, Ciao!


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Thanks, Jai.


Day 6 years ago

Once a again, thank you for those helpful tips... I am recovering now from dermatomyositis and I will be home for 1 to 3 mos.. One thing I can do to keep me busy is to write food blogs since my passion is cooking ... and I really do not know where to start.. This blog will definitely be a guide for me :)


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks Day. Hope your recovery is swift. You have the passion for food, just keep writing and that passion will show in your blog posts. I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub, all the best, Ciao!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

john - you know what a huge fan of yours I am . . and this Hub by far really drove the message right through the nail! Rated upwards, useful and oh so awesome! Time for a tweet as well:)


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

And you know how much of a fan I am of your Hubs! Thanks for the tweet. I just know, from personal experience, that writing can be challenging, but also, soo rewarding. Hope to see you in the twitterverse soon, Ciao!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Wonderful tips on freelancing and how to keep the spirit up and the words flowing. Thanks Jai! Rated up and useful too.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Some excellent tips, Jai - I especially like your section about voice. I now have many voices that I can use, depending upon the assignment, but I always have my default, slightly pompous style to fall back on!

Glad that you are enjoying life as a freelancer - it can be tough but beats the hell out of working in a supermarket :)


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Rated up, useful and awesome, Jai, for you so succinctly put forth information I found personally compelling! I do not freelance, but have wondered what the life would be like. I've often chastised myself for not 'writing' every day, but as you say, commenting and participating in forums is indeed writing.

Thanks so much for the breather!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

~ Thanks GL. Glad you thought the tips were useful. Sometimes it's hard to find inspiration, but by reading and constantly writing something, you'll find that spark.

~ Welcome, Sufidreamer. Thanks for the kind words! Finding your "voice" is fun in a crazy way. "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia". ~E.L. Doctorow. That quote says it all. And, I can't agree more, it does beat the hell out of working a "normal" job...

~ Hi lorlie6. Thanks for the visit... glad you could take a breather. Hey, writing is writing, whether your composing a Hub or tweeting on twitter! :)


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Cheers Jai - This is very useful and I'm glad you are now settling into Freelancing.

I like the tip on reading an hour a day - I will be adding that to my daily schedule. Writing everyday is challenging but its one of the best things to do. Now, I will write/draft something in a notebook daily and could come back to it later (weeks/months) and make it a finished article - thanks to your wonderful tips.

I'll check you out at Demand Studio.

All the Best. :)


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks Lady E. It's difficult, but you have to be consistent everyday. And, like I said, any kind of writing will work to keep you sharp. Sometimes, just a comment on someone elses work could provide personal inspiration. Glad you found it useful, Ciao! :)


Cori_Kenney profile image

Cori_Kenney 6 years ago from Somewhere aboard a Winnebago in a different Time/Space continuum

I'm just starting out, so I'm trying to be a sponge as opposed to a couch potato. Or a couch tomato as the case may be. You definitely back up what I've read so far, except you do it in a clear, concise manner. Thank you. *looks at clock* YES! I have done some writing today! I feel vindicated. (Hey, it only took me 15 min to get my prose together..)


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Welcome to HubPages Cori. And, thanks for the positive comment. There's information galore right here at HP about writing and making money doing it. I definitely recommend you check it out. Good luck! Ciao.

BTW, it always takes me that long to post a comment... :)


BennyTheWriter profile image

BennyTheWriter 6 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

This is a great encouraging hub on freelance writing! I like how you laid out step-by-step the actions it takes to be successful. I'm just starting on my freelance writing journey myself, so this was especially helpful.

Awesome video as well!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks Benny. I'm happy you found this helpful. It's frankly, not step-by-step, just keep reading and writing, develop your voice and, you'll be successful. All the best, Ciao!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Very, very useful and relevant, thanks! So many writers just write when they feel like it and forget that it is a discipline. Like Sufidreamer, I have many 'voices' too and the challenge is being true to them when needed. Super advice!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

~ Hi Shalini. Personally, I'm still developing my "voice". But, it seems like every time I write a new personality emerges. Thanks for your kind words. All the best, Ciao!


2uesday 6 years ago

This is thought provoking, this made me think about the reasons I write and although I do not think of it as being therapy; I know writing helps me to be a happier person. So maybe the result is the same.

This was a good read - held my interest, made me think, thank you.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Happy you enjoyed it 2uesday. I'm with you, writing does makes me a happier, more grounded person. It's so cathartic! Thanks for visiting, Ciao!


ltfawkes profile image

ltfawkes 6 years ago from NE Ohio

Hi, Jai (sorry - had to do it),

I was glad you mentioned "voice". Voice is so important, yet most new writers start out without even realizing there is such a thing.

Nice hub.

L.T.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

People just starting to write seem to force their words, instead of letting them flow. Write like you speak, it's more authentic and personal to the reader. Thanks L.T., your "voice" is appreciated. :) Ciao!


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

I may not be in front of the computer every day, but I do write constantly in my mind (usually pretending to tell the story to a friend and engaging her in the conversation or explain the details whatever the case may be). When I finally get in front of the computer, I just type for hours and let it sit for a few days before I read it and change things around


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks Petra. If you love to write it's not a challenge but, if it becomes your profession the challenge is continuing to love it. All the best, Ciao!


Baileybear 6 years ago

I like the "write like you speak" advice so it's more authentic. I think being free of anxietyof being judged harshly by an audience helps too. Like, Petra, I write things in my mind (and make a few notes if it's something that needs further incubation) and then write a hub not wanting to stop.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

It's much more fun that way. Don't worry about grammar, proper punctuation or the rules of the language. write from the soul. Remember, you can always edit later. Thanks Baileybear for visiting, Ciao!


Allan Douglas profile image

Allan Douglas 6 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Another great hub!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks Allan, for your compliment. I appreciate the visit and comment. Ciao!


hubpageswriter 6 years ago

That's so true. Sometimes when the passion is there, the burning desire to keep on writing, but the ideas just won't come out and is stuck. This hub gives me thoughts on this especially. It's definitely a challenge being a freelance writer.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

I hope this helps. If your stuck just write anything...it doesn't matter... the creativity will come. Thanks hubpageswriter, Ciao!


Alex Askew 6 years ago

Would love to get involved with freelance writing too. Maybe as a journalist for a newspaper. Brilliant article though, very interesting.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks for visiting Alex. There's plenty of opportunities to freelance... hope you find something. Good luck, Ciao!


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Great hub, I have considered freelancing but I do not feel I have my voice yet. I am starting to understand what that means. When I write like I would speak the worlds flow more naturaly (of course then I edit ;)


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks John B Badd. Your voice is your heart, your convictions, it's you. The only time I edit is when I feel my writing is too grammatically correct. Forget the rules, talk to people! Ciao...


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I agree with you, jai. Being a freelance writer is very challenging. I felt the time where I didn't have any idea to write. But at the same time I got a lot of idea to write. I am glad to follow your tips. Good work ,my friend. Vote up.

Prasetio


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

prasetio30, Even though I love writing, whenever I'm about to start, this wave of anxiety invades my mind. But, once I begin the words just flow. Thanks for the vote up. Glad you enjoyed it! Ciao...


FGual profile image

FGual 6 years ago from USA

Great report on starting your freelance writing career. It seems to me many people have a perfectionist devil critic in their mind, always ready to censor their thoughts. Keeping the devil at bay and telling yourself your writing is good enough is often tough. Writing at home is a blessing, and have no desire to find a "real" job.


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks FGual. I, like you, have no desire to work for anyone but myself. There is no such thing as perfection, but doing your best is perfect! All the best, Ciao!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I related to this a great deal. I have my moments when the day flies by with much creative production and then I may have a day here or there where I find myself looking out the window before lunch, it's then I go for a good round of some physical activity and get back at it. Yoga is a good choice. Loved this read and now I feel validated. I'd rather work for myself and give all I've got than have someone take all I've got and give me a portion... Thanks :)


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Katie, I always find some activity (usually working out) when I'm feeling lethargic or unproductive. The main thing is not wasting the day. Accomplish something. Always a pleasure to see you! Thanks, Ciao!


saket71 profile image

saket71 6 years ago from Delhi, India

So happy to have stumbled upon your blog, excellent read


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thank you saket71... Glad you enjoyed it!!! Ciao


REALfoodie profile image

REALfoodie 6 years ago from Florence, Italy and WORLDWIDE

Like you, 'I have always cherished the written word' since childhood. I love to read and write and took several writing/literature classes in college (my specialty is historical fiction). It is very difficult sometimes, so you are correct in advising other writers to keep consistent and PERSIST! Bravo!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

REALfoodie, It just so happens, I'm battling writers' block right now. So, what do I do? Venture out and read other people's work, and comment where I see fit. It usually inspires me. Thanks for visiting, and the kind word. Ciao!!!


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 6 years ago

The written word really is very powerful. Putting the written word out on the internet where it is read in every part of the globe is powerful too. There's a lot of responsibility that goes with that, and opportunities to abuse power. Thanks for the thought provoking hub Jai - that was a pleasure to read too!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks Kim... We forget the scope of influence our writing has in the virtual world. Just be sincere and honest, people will appreciate it. BTW, I love your poetry... thanks, Ciao!!!


Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 6 years ago from Arizona

No doubt your words ring true! Love your overall attitude about "things" in general! write on, right on, write on!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

Thanks Jeremey... For the comment and fan mail. Greatly appreciated. Looks like you have some interesting Hubs also, I'll have to pop over and check them out. Ciao!!!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

I agree the journey for a freelance writer is challenging and just like in school we were asked to continue practicing our alphabets in order to read.

I hear noted writers repeatedly advise on writing, writing, writing :)

Good points indicated in your hub!


Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 5 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas Author

A freelancer has to get his/her foot in the door, to be successful. Once that happens, people will search you out!!!

Thanks for commenting, Ciao...


thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

Thank you for sharing these tips. I have currently accepted the challenge of becoming a freelance writer and man I tell you, it really entails a lot of motivation, practice, focus, and hardwork. Reading your hub has motivated me to strive for the best. :D Thanks!


Mike Vincent 4 years ago

Hello Jai,

Couldn't agree more with your observations!

It's a wrong perception among many people that freelancing is an easy task. However, it requires much more level of dedication and seriousness towards work. I tried to collate my observations on my personal blog: http://tiny.cc/t0gujw

Would be happy to receive any of your thoughts.

Regards,

Mike

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working