Freelance Writing: It Really Is A Job!
The idea for this Hub came from comments I have received from friends who don’t seem to understand that even though I work from home and even though I write for a living, I really do have a job. Evidently the concept of writing eight hours a day does not qualify as ‘work’ in the minds of some. Hopefully this Hub will clarify that thinking just a bit.
As I was organizing this work in my head I realized that maybe it will serve another purpose, namely to point out to new writers or hope-to-be writers that this is not a profession that can be done in your spare time if you plan on eating during the month and making your house payment.
I believe that is enough of an introduction and my purpose has been reasonably stated so let’s begin.
WRITING IS AN ART FORM
I have always believed that writing is right up there with painting and sculpture and music as an art form of the highest order. To write well means to reach into the hearts and souls of your readers, to elicit emotions from them, to make them recall meaningful moments in their lives that helped shape them. Writing is and will always be a bonding of writer and reader. From early childhood to today, curling up with a good book has always been for me akin to visiting with an old friend. Laughter, tears, anger and joy, no emotion can be restrained when I pick up a good book and begin reading.
As I continue to practice my writing and shape my craft I realize just how difficult it is to be a good writer. It is not enough to think you are a talented writer, nor is it enough to have relatives tell you that you have what it takes. Writing at the level I wish to attain takes years of hard work and practice, a slew of rejection slips from agents and publishers and the support of loved ones when it seems all too much to handle and endure. Name the giants in art, in sculpture, in music, and to a person they will tell you that they labored in relative obscurity for decades before their talent was recognized. In truth, that is how it should be.
WRITING IS A FULL-TIME JOB
Before I take you through a typical writing day for me, let me first explain that writing is a full-time job if your goals are as high as mine. If all you want is some spare money and the freedom to relax for much of the day, then there are freelance jobs out there that will pay you a couple hundred dollars per month and then, in that case, writing is certainly not a full-time job. Having said that, here is a typical day for this freelance writer:
7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. work on my freelance writing jobs and apply for new ones.
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. lunch and relaxation with family
1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. work on my HubPages; work on current personal writing projects; send query letters to agents and publishers; work on promoting my writing.
Do I do this daily? Yes, most certainly, and for two reasons: one, I consider this my profession and two, I consider this my passion. Working at home as an independent contractor and as a small businessman, it is crucial to establish a routine just as you would if you had a typical job at some place of employment. The temptations are endless when you work by yourself and if you can’t focus on the task at hand maybe writing as a profession is not for you.
WRITING IS NOT FOR THE WEAK OF SPIRIT
There are literally hundreds of thousands of excellent writers in the world, each one with a passion, each one with talent, all with similar dreams. In many ways succeeding in writing is a matter of being in the right place at the right time, catching just the right person at exactly the time they are looking for what you have to offer. The same can be said in any of the arts or for that matter in any professional undertaking. What truly separates one exceptional writer from another? Very little in most instances; there are few Harper Lees or John Steinbecks out there, writers so talented that one query letter and their careers take off like a rocket and fame is assured. That leaves the rest of us, toiling away in obscurity, doing what we can on a daily basis, looking for that one big break, hoping against the odds that lightning will strike and we will succeed.
Of course, that raises the question: what is success? I am sure the answer differs at least minutely for each person and only you can answer what will constitute success for you. Possibly the most important question to be asked and answered is how are you going to handle the lack of success until success does arrive, if in fact it does? I have probably sent out over one hundred query letters to agents and publishers in hopes of getting a book deal; the odds are astronomical of that happening but that has not kept me from religiously sending letters out. After three years of work on my first novel and countless rejections I finally self-published and marketed the book myself. To say the response to the novel was minimal would be overstating by quite a bit. However, I was not willing to throw in the towel then nor am I willing to do it now. What I learned from that endeavor was that I needed to work harder to become a better writer.
My story is not unique; probably the only thing that makes me a bit unique is the fact that I am doing this when I am sixty-three years old; I waited a long time and lived a full life before I started, so I feel the clock working against me at times. My greatest assets are a belief in myself and the support of loved ones; to some that may not seem like a bounty of assets but to me it is all I need.
IS WRITING A PASSION OR A HOBBY?
If writing is nothing more than a hobby for you, like collecting coins or sewing, then I hope you enjoy your hobby to the utmost. If, however, you have a passion for writing as I do, then I hope your passion fuels many years of doing what is necessary to be the best damn writer you can be. Don’t let the naysayers out there tell you that your talent is lacking. Don’t let the lack of funds and seemingly insurmountable odds keep you from pursuing that which you feel in your heart of hearts. Don’t let the rejections and the self-doubt eat away at your dream. Life is too short to give up on that which moves you so deeply.
I wish for you a long life. I wish for satisfaction in your chosen field. I wish for you happiness.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
If you would like to purchase my novel in Kindle format go to:
Another hub worth reading on this subject:
- Freelance Writing For Extra Income - How You Can Succeed As A Freelance Writer
If you want to make money online as a freelance writer, take the advice of someone who is doing so right now. Here is how I got started, from knowing nothing about internet anything, to having marketable skills as an SEO, backlink-building, website-p