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A Reality Check Before Becoming a Freelance Writer

Updated on July 25, 2014

My Personal Experience

“Do as I say and not as I do.” Those words perfectly apply to this writer. What I am about to tell you in this article is the wise way to approach a full-time job as a freelance writer. I, however, did not follow my own advice.

As some of you may know if you have followed me along this journey, I abruptly quit my full-time teaching job in October 2011. The reasons why I quit my day job are not important. What is important, for the purposes of this article, is that I had no backup plan. I stepped out on the high wire without a safety net, effectively backing myself into the proverbial corner with no escape route at all. I was either going to make it as a writer or become a statistic, joining the thousands of others who shoved their feet in their mouths and discovered that shoe leather is not tasty.

I knew nothing about the freelance writing business. Absolutely nothing! That is not hyperbole, folks. I didn’t know the first thing about how to make a living as a writer of words.

Still, almost three years later, here I am, eating three square meals each day, paying my bills, and loving every minute of my life.

How did I do it?

Hard work, stubbornness, and a willingness to learn!

What follows is a checklist that I want you to consider if you think you would like to go full-time as a freelance writer. All the items on the checklist may not apply to you. You just might make it by only checking off four or five of these items. I was able to make it despite ignoring most of these, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend doing it my way. So, do as I say and not as I do, and maybe your journey will be considerably easier than mine was.

This is where I write but it is not my base of operations
This is where I write but it is not my base of operations | Source

DO YOU HAVE GAME?

It is a valid question. Do you have some writing ability? You can’t fake quality in the writing business. Whether you plan on making it as a blogger, or making it by submitting and selling ebooks or magazine articles, if you can’t write well you won’t make it in the long run. Oh, you might make some passive income writing for sites like Bubblews or HubPages, but without game you will not make enough to live on, and you can take that to the bank.

You do not have to be the next Hemingway to make a living as a writer, but you need to at least understand grammar, and be able to write a paragraph that resembles the English language and not the scribbles of a pre-schooler.

If you wonder if you have game, join a writing group and wait for the critical assessments you will receive. If you pass that scrutiny you probably have what it takes.

DO YOU HAVE A BASE OF OPERATIONS?

People need to know how to find you, and that means a forwarding address that is yours and yours alone.

If you don’t have a website or an anchor blog, get one.

Freelance writing is a business, and every business has a location, whether it be a street address or an online storefront. You are your business, your writing is your product, and people need to know how to find your business and product.

Get busy. Start construction of your site. This is important, so get your tools organized, and lay the foundation.

Do you have your head in the clouds, constantly bombarded with ideas and inspiration?
Do you have your head in the clouds, constantly bombarded with ideas and inspiration? | Source

ARE YOU ORGANIZED?

If you plan on paying your bills as a writer, you better be able to juggle twenty balls at once, without dropping one of them. Can you handle writing ten articles at the same time? Can you make sure you meet deadlines? Can you organize and can you prioritize? Can you market yourself? Can you cold-call? Can you make important contacts and then retain them through the months and years?

Can you organize your day like a working day, shutting yourself off from the world, and treating your business like a real business?

If the answer to all those questions is yes, then you just might have what it takes.

DOES YOUR CUP OVERFLOWETH?

Are you a creative person? Do you have thousands of article ideas floating around in your head, and better yet, do you have thousands of unique ideas floating?

There are millions of writers out there, all after the same pie you are chasing. What differentiates the writers who eat and the writers who scrounge for crumbs is the ability to see a new angle in an old topic.

Magazine editors love new angles. They get as bored as anyone else with the same old same old. Give them something new and they will be calling you for articles instead of you begging them for assignments.

When the going gets tough, freelance writers keep going
When the going gets tough, freelance writers keep going | Source

DO YOU HAVE RELATED WORK TO HELP DURING THE TOUGH TIMES?

If I were an investment broker, I would tell you to diversify, diversify, and then diversify again. There is safety in diversification. When one aspect of your investments dries up, you always have some investments that remain steady or in fact are skyrocketing.

The same is true as a freelance writer. What do you have to fall back on when the magazines dry up, or your ebooks stop selling? Can you teach a writing course at your local community center? Can you scrounge up some work as an editor or copywriter? Can you find some local community newsletters to write? Have you canvassed your local businesses and offered your services to them?

When I first started out I got lucky. I managed to land a company in Fort Worth, Texas, and a real estate company in Los Angeles, and during the lean times those two customers kept me afloat. They are still with me today, as are ten other customers that I found through those original two.

DO YOU HAVE BACKUP RESOURCES?

Again, do as I say and not as I do. When I quit my teaching job I had enough money to live on for three months. THREE MONTHS!!!! I do not recommend that approach to anyone else. Looking back on my folly now, I can see that I was a human recipe for disaster….and yet I made it.

In a perfect world, I would suggest you have backup resources to live on for a full year. I know, this isn’t a perfect world, but that would be my recommendation.

HOW THICK IS YOUR SKIN?

I’m dead serious now….if you can’t take rejection and constructive criticism, then get out now before you lose too much blood. I have seen too many good writers fall in the gutter because they got their feelings hurt, or they had their ego bruised, or they weren’t feeling the love.

This is the not the 60s and we are not having a love-in. If you want love as a freelance writer, get a puppy. Is that clear enough for you?

And There You Have It

Not a complete checklist, but this should give you something to think about before becoming a freelance writer.

If I discouraged you from trying then you weren’t really ready. If this list did not discourage you, then you just might have what it takes to make it.

I guess we’ll find out starting now.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Great tips Bill and truly spoken like the pro you are my friend! Thank you for sharing always with us and have a wonderful Friday and weekend ahead now, too. We made it once again and deserve it :)

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 3 years ago from Canada

      Great article! And I feel honoured to be first commentator ... although someone else may jump the queue while I write so slowly.

      I think I have all of these to some degree. I confess that the organizational ability is the one I struggle with.

      You have put together an excellent list. I will be pinning. Nice to see you, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks, Janine. You have a great Friday now, you here?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sharilee, what a pleasant surprise. Thank you for stopping by my friend. I hope you are enjoying your summer vacation.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I love it when I see you include an Amazon capsule for The Renegade Writer. I've been following Linda Formichelli for a while now. She gives great advice and holds informative webinars (although there's always a sales pitch at the end, but that's the name of the game, right?).

      As you know, I did the same as you. I quit my job cold turkey. I'd been writing for HP for about a year and had a couple of writing clients on the side. They paid mill rates which certainly didn't come close to paying my bills. Fortunately, I had 401k money to take with me when I quit my job.

      It's now been almost two years since I jumped in the waters of freelance writing full-time. I'm not as successful as you (yet) but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm determined. I know I'll get to where I want to be in my career.

      You're so right about being willing to learn. I spent the first 6 months of my freedom from corporate America writing for a mill that pays more than most. Then the bottom dropped out; they lowered their pay rates, upped the word count, and eliminated their bonus program. So for the next 9 months or so I spent my time absorbing all the knowledge I could and putting it into practice. I can't tell you how many binders and notebooks I've filled with reference material, not to mention the multitudinous pdf docs I've downloaded! I also built my website last summer, which was scary as hell, but I did it so my business could have a home. I certainly don't want people showing up at my residence, nor is that practical. The beauty of the world wide web is being able to work for anyone anywhere right from my comfortable home office.

      Great advice, Bill. Better safe than sorry. So far I'm not sorry, although taking the leap I did was far from safe at the time. Once a rebel always a rebel!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, your example is a perfect one, and I was hoping you would weigh in on this. Better safe than sorry...for sure...but for rebels like you and I, safe just ain't in our vocabulary. LOL Have a great weekend my friend.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      "How thick is your skin?" There's a question whose answer is subject to change!

      The thickness of my skin varies and is directly related to what is going on in my day (week, month, or life!) - be it good, bad, or indifferent -until the moment I read the negative words on a rejection notice.

      It could be a day when the bad words in the message rolls off my back unscathed or it could be a day when their letter could be the straw that broke the camel's back.

      But it's really all good --no really! Rejection should make us try harder and for me it does. It's all good because the next compliment or bit of encouragement makes me pick myself up again and keeps me going ... until the next rejection makes me want to throw in the towel.

      Writing and acceptance of our writing is an oxymoron and it's a vicious circle of emotions all writers go through. So how thick is your skin? Most days, pretty good and thick, thanks. LOL

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      As always you give great advice. If I had to make a living as a writer, I would be on food stamps! I write for the love of it. When I actually sell something it is icing on the cake. Up, very useful, quite interesting and definitely awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachael, I love your comment, but then I always do. You are so right....there are days when any negative word sends me running for cover, but those days are few. The longer I do this, the better I get are realistic appraisals of my work, and acceptance of the fact that I'm only human, and this is a long learning process. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, I firmly believe the most important thing about writing, for writers, is a love of writing. If that's not there then writing is just a job, and that just will not do. :) Have a great weekend and thank you.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      You've inspired me to start organizing - I'm going to start with my own website. These are great tips, Bill. Don't feel bad - I did kind of the same thing when I quit my job in 2008. I knew I was going to finish school, but my degree didn't help me find a job. Education is sometimes overrated, even though I did learn quite a bit. Since my Associate's Degree is in Business Administration, perhaps it will help me set up a writing business. We'll see.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      My only plan when I quit my corporate law job in July 2011 was to write every day. Fortunately, I had enough money saved up to live on for a while (I had been dreaming about quitting for years) and I hadn't blown through it all by the time I got my act together. But now, three years later, I still feel like I am trying to figure things out. I don't make enough to live on with my writing alone, although I was fortunate to land a part-time law job that pays the bills and still allows me plenty of time to write. Maybe there is no good time to quit, but sometimes you just have to take the plunge and do it. (None of us are getting any younger, after all.) But it's probably best to think it through a little bit more than I did. You presented some great advice for doing just that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, some of us have to learn the hard way. I have no regrets. It all works out, and I believe there is a bigger plan that I am not aware of. Carry on my friend, best wishes, and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, your statement that there is no good time to quit is probably quite accurate. Sooner or later we just have to do it, or spend the rest of our lives wishing we had. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 3 years ago from Canada

      Some great tips here Billy...thank you so much. Voted up and shared.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Another great article, Bill.

      Have a super weekend!

      DJ.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Your advice is always helpful to all writers.

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 3 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      Great tips. I've always dreamed of quitting my day job and supporting my myself as a garden writer and speaker. Love your comments about being thickskinned. I just got rejected from a speaking job because they wanted me to do it for free. At first I was hurt but then I realized that I've worked a lifetime building my knowledge of gardening. That's worth something. I feel the same way about my writing.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 3 years ago from Michigan

      Once again I am grateful for the sound and solid advice you offer to writers everywhere.

      I too love to write. I do have thick skin and I want feedback so I can be a better writer. I don't find the commenters on hubpages to be a source of 'brutal honesty' critique. People tend to look over the obvious inadequacies to read the heart of the message. A big part of me appreciates the love and support and even the kindness in those who read through the mess to get to the message.

      I have been invited to a writers group. In this group they critique each others work. I believe this is what I need to provide insight into my work and to build my confidence. I would be afraid, at this point, to ask for work because I am not sure I have what it takes.

      I have no problem writing from the heart but I know it takes more than that to be published.

      I always appreciate your honesty and insights. Thanks billybuc!

      Mekenzie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      you are very welcome, Kaili...thank you and best wishes to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, DJ, and the same to you my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, DDE. Have a .super weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      OldRoses, good for you. You have to be true to yourself, and your time and knowledge is, indeed, worth something. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mekenzie, you raise a valid point about HP...we rarely get, or give, constructive criticism or feedback here, and I think that can hurt a writer. I'm glad you joined a writer's group, and I hope it works out for you. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great advice, as always. I enjoyed bravewarriors comments about her journey and her endorsement of the Renegade Writer book. I may look into that one. Thanks!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      No, Bill, shoe leather is not tasty! Each time you give us a checklist, I feel that I get a little closer. It helps to get it straight from someone who has been there. My skin is getting a little tougher.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vicki. This is not an easy road, but it's a rewarding one. :) Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, you are doing it the correct way, and if I'm helping you at all then fantastic. Thank you and enjoy your weekend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I am not interested in becoming a freelance writer, but i like to read your tips/suggestions. You are truly helpful to all of your followers. Thank you for all you do. Have a relaxing weekend..

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Bill, I'm glad that you are warning people that freelancing is not a picnic. I've seen too many people try freelancing only to starve themselves right back into a full-time job with an ad agency, newspaper, or broadcasting station. At least they had a career in the industry to fall back on. I can't imagine trying to freelance write if you are not already a trained writer, but I'm just someone who has always had a job in the industry, so what do I know?

      I did see a couple of already successful professionals establish their own businesses and take their clients with them, and they are still in business making money hand-over-fist. However, they are the exceptions. Everything you've said is true.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Ruby. Enjoy your weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you MizB. It's always nice to hear from the voice of experience. I've seen too many writers fall by the wayside as well, and I would rather warn others now than let them blindly start this journey.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Another great and very useful hub billy, I hope you have a great weekend, nell

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Nell, and I hope your weekend is simply brilliant.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      Yet another terrific Hub with lots to ponder and mull over.

      The beautiful weather here has been an opportunity for me to diversify in a few different ways so here's hoping that I have sufficient material in the long winter days coming up to get stuck into more productivity.

      Love the comment about the puppy, though much as I love the little creatures, I am not planning on getting on anytime soon.

      Have a terrific week-end

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      easy to follow, and very useful for all types of writers Billy, consider this writing 101... because i take so much away from what you put out in that I thank you...:)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill…

      Sage words of advice. Writing is work…it is a job that must be worked each and every day, like any other. I am not surprised that you “made it,” as you have the writing chops, the wisdom and the character to make it so. And yes, it takes C-H-A-R-A-C-T-E-R. I loved this: “This is the not the 60s and we are not having a love-in. If you want love as a freelance writer, get a puppy. Is that clear enough for you?” Lol. I have often said that I highly value constructive criticism…it is oxygen to the writer. Great hub, as usual, Bill.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      Excellent advice Bill. It is difficult to keep going through rejection and keep working all day when there are so many other distractions that are calling you, but you must to succeed.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I read this article from my tablet this morning and I commenting on your great advice, but somehow my reply did not go through. I feel that through hub pages I have become a better writer, and from there I might one day look for other ways to promote my books and earn while doing it, but each article takes me a long time, and I do have many other commitments. Giving up writing I will never do and Robin and I are busy writing an ebook on what any author should do in order to promote their book, and how to go about it stage for stage. Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I'm glad you are storing up ideas for writing, and even happier that your weather is cooperating. Enjoy the summer my friend, and thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I thank you for the compliment. Have a great weekend my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I wish this were a love-in, and we were all highly successful, but that is just a fantasy. If we want it then we'll work at it....pretty simple formula. :) Thank you for a wonderful comment, and enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Millionaire, difficult for sure, but it is so rewarding.....and that's what keeps us moving forward i guess. :) Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, best wishes on that ebook. I'm sure it will be filled with practical tips that will help any writer. Self-promotion is tough for writers, so anything you suggest will be helpful.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Another great one, Bill! I will have to bookmark and save this for reference. Are my several month of decline from writing/reading, I am slowly trying to ease myself back in. Life is sometimes a bit overwhelming but I have missed being here. Thanks for the great tips. Hopefully, they'll help me get back on track! (Even my words with friends is dragging!)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      LOL! Great hub and thanks for telling it like it is. Sometimes we learn how to do something by having no idea how to do it in the beginning. Sometimes it is best NOT to have a plan. You can really discover who you are and what you love by doing so. Sometimes too much direction can keep your wheels spinning in the mud. Congratulations on your success.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Reality check indeed; we need that to be serious writers. Many people look at me and say, oh what do you write?, and when I begin to explain a glazed look comes over their faces and I give up. They do not understand. Only writers understand writers, I believe.

      I feel like I have two lives; my writing and my 'outside' life!

      Ah well, I'm happy with that and I'm certainly not going to give up the writer's life. They'll understand when my best seller brings me millions!

      Did I hear you laughing? Surely not!

      Ann

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome tips, Bill! Thanks for sharing!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Writing online has become a challenging point for many writers and your tips are always so helpful.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and a few writer colleagues. This checklist helps me to more clearly understand the profession of freelance writer. Most (all?) of the points also apply to fiction writers, dramatists, and screenwriters trying to make a living at one of those crafts.

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 3 years ago from Jaipur

      Ya, this tips are useful. I am a businessman and my living does not depend on writing. Writing is my hobby and i write when I feel to do so. However, I earned much money through my Hubpages articles.

      These tips will help newbies who want to make their living writing freelance. Thanks again for a nice article. Rated up and useful.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Billy, Great article. Networking is extremely important as well. You touched on that a little when you wrote about your long term clients. Freelancers have to physically get out to let people know how you can help them or help their business. That can be difficult for a writer since we spend so much time in our own heads. Juggling the actual writing and finding the work takes a lot of effort. I found depending on the Internet was not as viable as getting out and circulating.

      Love your checklist! Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, it's good to have you back. No doubt life can be overwhelming, and we do what we have to do...but you are back and I'm happy for it.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzette! My success? I'm not even close to where I want to be, but I'm getting there. I just hope I live long enough to make it there. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Surely not, Ann, I would not laugh at that line. I say it myself every week. LOL Truly I do.

      I hate having to tell people I'm a writer, because that same question always follows....what do you write...I just want to scream WORDS!!!

      Thank you for your loyalty and friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok...Happy Sunday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, they do indeed my friend. The names change but the task is the same....hard work and determination...and a little bit of luck. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you JYOTI, and congratulations on your writing success.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, I completely agree with you. The internet, for me, is a social activity. I rarely get new work through the internet. Good old fashioned face to face interaction has garnered me much more business.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      By the way, I meant to tell you that I'm enjoying 'Ressurecting Tobias' tremendously. You had me hooked from the beginning and your characters are alive. Looking forward to my quiet time at the end of the day, to continue reading it.

      To anyone else here who's reading these comments and who hasn't read 'Ressurecting Tobias', then READ IT!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thank you so much, not only for buying the book, but for the lovely comment. Music to my ears my friend.

      bill

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      It does take years of hard work to be an overnight success, doesn't it? Best of luck on your continued journey.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perfectly stated, Flourish. Thank you.

    • Amy Naylor profile image

      Amy Naylor 2 years ago from England

      Another massively helpful hub. Thank you very much for sharing. I have 3 years worth of safety net because being a student in the UK from a low income family and still living at home means I practically get money thrown at me from the government (woohoo) so I can risk trying.

      If things are still rough after three years experience writing and a three year course in... writing, I need to either pull my finger out or take a step elsewhere!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, I would say you are in a perfect situation. You might as well take advantage of it, so good for you for giving it a go.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      My first experience with being a freelance writer was for a friend of my husband. He didn't like it and refused to pay me. That was the end of that. I know it can be a challenge. Good freelance writers are diligent and persistent!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      2besure, that was a rotten introduction to freelance writing. :) I think I might have quit too. LOL

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the great tips and guidelines, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again, Alicia.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      This is an unusually hard hitting article of advice from you, Bill.

      Well, I failed miserably on many of your questions. Also, I am in the middle of depression after losing all of my articles in the making on a memory card that got stolen. The only consolation is, as my friend Gloria says, "Suhail, it is got to be in your head somewhere so get down to work and start jotting them down again".

      Thank you Bill for contributing so much from your investment in the skills you learned the hard way so that we could learn too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, I am very sorry to hear you lost your articles. Still, Gloria has a fine point. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I think eventually, we all will get fed up and try the writing waters. This economy is letting the customer dictate everything in all our fields. If we can kiss it, then we will, but if we want to forge on ourselves, then we'll throw in the towel for the private sector.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great point, Deb. I do not like what I see as I gaze over the economy, but I still believe there is a place for good writing....and I sure hope I'm right.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Maybe one day...until then I will keep on fitting in writing when I can. It is not a road for the faint hearted, and you give an honest and fair account of how it isn't an easy option. Wishing you every success Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Anna. Because of people like you, I keep forging on. I need encouragement and support just like anyone else, so I appreciate you greatly.

      bill

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      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      This is a great checklist. It should be posted on the HubPages learning section. You have not held anything back and it is what people need to know.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Dianna. I just think a lot of people go into this thinking it will be easy, and that is far from the truth.

    • Jasdeep-Singh profile image

      Laddi Singh 2 years ago from (Punjab) India

      Thanks for this excellent advice.Your advise and information are very very important for me Who just try to write something.The most important you discuss a truly criteria for anybody who wants to become a good writer.Thanks for this Hub.

      (Blessings)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blessings to you, Jasdeep, and thank you so much for your thoughts.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 2 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I knew I wasn't cut out to be a freelance writer when I realized I couldn't stand to sell my articles! That was the end of that!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      2besure, that is usually the death rattle for many would-be freelancer. You are not alone my friend.

    • FictionFish profile image

      Kurt Frazier Sr 2 years ago from Mobile Al

      Thanks for the great advice and the reminder of just what it takes to be a writer. Freelancing is something that I have been considering doing for some time although I may do that part time until the moment comes when I can spread my wings and fly

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Fiction, I would suggest wading into the pool rather than diving head first. In this case, safe is preferable to risky and foolish...like I was. LOL Thank you.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I'd like to think I have game. For me, I'm still writing for that passive income. I'm lucky that I am able to, but now that my daughter started middle school it's time for me to get going and look for a job so I'm thinking my writing will probably be for passive income for a long time. But you never know!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I taught middle school for years and years and years. I loved that age, but I think it is much harder on parents quite frankly. I hope it goes smoothly for you...and thanks for sharing about your income. I happen to think you are a very good writer, and I hope you find your path and are rewarded for it.

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