ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Freelance Writing The Pros and Cons

Updated on October 7, 2013
Yes, this man is a freelance writer!
Yes, this man is a freelance writer! | Source
Work when you want to!
Work when you want to! | Source
My workplace for eight to ten hours per day.
My workplace for eight to ten hours per day. | Source

I have been a freelance writer now for about eighteen months. I’m not sure what my expectations were when I started out in this profession but my expectations didn’t even approach reality as I now know it.

Often in the past eighteen months I have run across friends who I have not seen in quite some time and invariably the conversation comes around to what we are both doing nowadays. They will look at me and ask me if I’m still teaching; I tell them no and then they ask me what I’m doing now.

“I’m a freelance writer,” I say, to which they respond, “What the hell is that?” I laugh and tell them that I write for money and they always ask if I can make a living doing that. Well, yes, you can in fact make a living as a freelance writer, but it isn’t easy by a long shot.

For those of you crazy enough to give it a go, this article is for you. Maybe you have been having troubles at your job and you are just fed up with your boss and co-workers. You would like to tell them to take that job and shove it but you are terrified of not having that job. You always wanted to be a writer but seriously, that’s the mother of all risks, right? Still, the thought of working at home definitely has you feeling warm and fuzzy. What to do?

A DEFINITION OF A FREELANCE WRITER

I always have to explain to my friends what a freelance writer does. It seems that the concept of writing for pay is a foreign one to most of the people I run across. The other problem is distinguishing between a freelance writer and just a writer. Perhaps a definition will help.

According to our old friend Webster, a freelance writer is: a person who works as a writer selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc. rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer. I guess that is different from just being a writer. I mean, I was a writer in the 10th grade but who in the world would have paid me for the crap I was writing then? We are all writers, right? When we scribble something on the restroom wall at the YMCA we are a writer. Too bad we can’t get paid for some of the great lines we have written at the truck stops across America. Hey, there’s a book idea, a collection of bathroom wall writings in the United States. Call it what? THE TRUCK STOP POETS…..VERSE DROPPINGS…..SQUAT AND LEAVE IT: POETRY FOR THE AVERAGE GUY….REST ROOM RUMINATIONS?

I seem to have digressed! Being a freelance writer means I sell my skills to whoever wants to buy them. I write SEO content for companies; I write webpage content and I do resumes. I do articles for whoever is willing to give me money, kind of like a hired gun in the old West or a mercenary soldier in the new West. I have written for salvage yards, oil well equipment manufacturers, doll clothing retailers, real estate brokers and restaurants. I can take your fried chicken and make it sound like the best damn chicken this side of grandma’s kitchen and I can take your website and praise you to the internet gods. When I get done even your Aunt Alice, who has never liked you since you were a bawling baby, will want you over for dinner.

Sounds pretty glamorous, right? Just wait a second! Before you tell your boss what he can do with his electric pencil-sharpener, allow me to tell you a few of the pros and cons of being a freelance writer. First the good news and then we’ll move on to the down side of this career.

THE PROS OF THIS WRITING GIG

First and foremost, you have no boss! How many times in your adult life have you daydreamed of having no one at work telling you what to do or how to do it? As a freelance writer your daydreams will come true. The only boss you will have is yourself and hey, that’s a pretty nice boss to have, right?

There are no set hours as a freelancer. You can come and go as you please. Do you feel like sleeping in on a particular morning after a hard night partying downtown? Go ahead, get a couple extra hours of shut-eye! You won’t get fired, your pay won’t be docked and you can wake up fresh and relaxed, ready to tackle your workload when you are mentally and physically ready to do so.

Think about this one: you can pick and choose who your customers are going to be. If you don’t like someone’s attitude then feel free to tell them so and then move on to the next customer. What a great feel of freedom.

Another nice benefit is that you can name your price and only work for that price. You know what your work is worth; you know what your time is worth. You are the CEO of your company and as such you can set your worth on the open market.

Do you want time with your family? Are you tired of missing the kids’ school events and soccer matches? As a freelance you have freedom to schedule yourself as you see fit. A dream come true for sure!

And before I finish with this quick list of benefits let us not forget the tax benefits to owning your own freelance writing benefits. A certain amount of your home and utilities can be written off as expenses if you set up an office for your business. How cool is that?

HOLD YOUR HORSE; THERE IS A DOWNSIDE TO THIS JOB

The first bad news I have is that you are, indeed, the boss! This is not a job for those who are not self-motivated. This writer writes between 8-10 hours per day, every day! I head off to my writing studio and I go through a daily ritual of looking for new jobs, applying for new jobs, satisfying existing customers and if time allows writing for my own pleasure.

Yes, you are the boss; you are also the marketing manager, the bookkeeper and the lowly peon at the bottom of the seniority ladder. In fact, you are at the top of that ladder and the bottom of that ladder, all at the same time. Cute trick!

This can be a stressful job, especially if you need the income badly. Jobs do not fall in your lap by accident. There are few referral gigs that are tossed your way by others. You have to home in on jobs like a heat-seeking missile and when you fail to get a job you have to suck it up, repair your crushed ego and do it all over again. The competition is fierce with several million other freelancers out there chasing the same dream that you are chasing. If you are not willing to do the work then you might be better off flipping burgers for the local McDonalds.

Yes, you have freedom, but let me tell you, you had better establish some strict boundaries with family and friends. I have had the hardest time convincing others that when I work at home I am actually working at home. I am not free to drop everything and go out for coffee nor am I free to chat on the phone for hours in the middle of the day. Freelance writing is every bit as much of a job as being a lawyer, a doctor, a professional chef or a school teacher. The only difference is that you are home when you work. Wrap your brain around that fact and never forget it. If you don’t work you don’t get paid. Period!

What else? Well, you can kiss your medical benefits goodbye. You can also kiss off the extras you once thought you couldn’t live without. Starting out in this business your income is going to be sparse at best for six months to a year. You have to get yourself established in the industry and that takes time. It makes no difference that your wife or husband thinks you are a great writer. There are quite a few “great writers” out there and those doing the hiring have a whole bunch of writers to pick from.

It took this writer six months to reach the $500 per month income level. Now, after eighteen months, I pick and choose between jobs and I actually turn down job offers, but the first six months were scary and troublesome. This is not a job for the weak of heart or spirit.

HAVE I SCARED YOU OFF YET?

Do you want me to get to the bottom line? Okay, here it is! I love freelance writing. I love the fact that I have no boss to piss me off! I love the fact that I am in charge of my own success or failure. I love the fact that each and every day I have the chance to follow my passion. I love the fact that I don’t have to drive to work and suck up to anyone in an office.

I am doing what I want to do and what I love to do. How many can say that? I am building my own business one brick at a time and I am seeing success. I am working in tandem with the love of my life in a supportive atmosphere.

Of course there are times of self-doubt and tough times economically, but that is true in any business venture. I have never shied away from a challenge and I’ve never failed because of fear. I am having the time of my life and that, my friends, is a benefit that has no monetary value.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

For more articles about freelance writing see the following:

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Self-Publish-A-Book-My-Story

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/The-Writing-Process-My-Own-Experience

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Freelance-Writing-It-Really-Is-A-Job

To purchase any of my Kindle books go to:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=William%20D.%20Holland

Have you considered becoming a freelance writer?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Koshaugh profile image

      Kara Monterey 4 years ago from Indianapolis

      This article was helpful. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome Koshaugh; thank you for reading.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      A good honest look at the pros and cons. Thank you.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      You have given me hope billybuc. I haven't had the success you have, it's all been baby steps. But I'll keep plugging away!

      Thanks for the inspiration! I really needed it today! Voted up and shared!

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 4 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Very helpful article Billybuc, along with writing for Hubpages and Yahoo I have been checking into sites like Freelancer and Odesk, but considering the short amount of time I've been writing my resume doesn't look that impressive regardless of the fact that I scored very well on the qualification tests I have taken. But good things will happen in due time. Voted up and useful.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill, this was a very helpful article regarding a topic I find very interesting but yet so intimidating! :) I think it would a be a cool thing to do, but do not know if i would be able to succeed at that style of writing.

      Very useful, interesting, and definitely sharing uncle Bill! :)

      P.S. I love the video you posted at the end! LOVE IT! hehe :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, you are welcome and thank you too. Best of luck with your writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Daughter, we all have those times. My first six months I was questioning my sanity! :) Hang in there; it does get better. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DS, I had the same thoughts dancing through my head when I started. You are right, good things will happen in due time. Heck, I didn't have a resume at all when I started; I just had a blog I had fooled around with. I subscribe the theory of faking it till you make it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, you have the talent; keep working and if it is your passion it will happen.

      Thanks Nephew; I thought the video was perfect too!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - With the incrediable writing talents you show on these pages, on am not the least bit surprised you are a successful Freelance writer. Loving to write helps, but it is a job like any other and it must demand the respect any other job might require.

      You are an inspiration to me friend.

      Sincerely

      Me

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are welcome Bill, anytime :) And thanks for the encouragement, maybe at some point in the not-so-near future, I will step out of my comfort zone and begin freelance writing! :) I mean I am only 25! Have many more years! hehe :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My shining Irish lass, thank you dear friend! I love your attitude and outlook on life. You give me as much as I give you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Josh, I would hope you squeeze a few more years out of that old body of yours. LOL

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      hahahahahaha, i will try Bill, only try though, LOl i am getting rather old! :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome and inspirational! I needed to read this today, Bill. I've been feeling pretty down about everything, wanting to give in and go work for somebody. I hate to give up the dream, though. I just haven't hit the pavement enough for writing gigs, AND I haven't set boundaries well enough with convincing others--and myself--that I have to be more disciplined time-wise. I'm going to keep on trying for a while. Thank you!! My fingers clicked on every vote button I could find. I'm also sharing this to inspire other wanna-be freelance writers!

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Any worthwhile endeavor takes self-discipline and lots of effort. You are living your dream and it suits you and that my friend is priceless.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh...yes, ancient! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, I would hate to see you give up now. You have worked hard and you are a good writer. Hang in there awhile longer and see if things break for you. I have confidence that they will.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jlava, thank you my friend. It is priceless for sure!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      It is a charmed life to say the least. I have been impressed with your level of discipline and what you have accomplished in such a short amount of time. There are times when this profession is really difficult, especially working for Textbroker where you can't choose your topics. But, you are an inspiration to many to keep going- especially me! Great hub.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I really, really want to be able to call myself a true freelance writer and be my own boss, but I'm just not there yet. You're a few months ahead of me, though, since I only started writing online less than a year ago. You give me hope! It's very true - others are always so willing to tell you 'you're a great writer' or 'you should sell (that thing you made)' and don't realize how difficult it is!

      Thanks for another great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I have always had that discipline side of me that has served me well, especially working for myself. Thank you and best of luck to you although I don't think you need luck. You do the things necessary to succeed. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Natasha, you are so young. You'll get there in time; just stay true to yourself and what you want out of life and good things will happen.

      Thank you my young friend; you are a joy to know.

    • shin_rocka04 profile image

      shin_rocka04 4 years ago from Maryland

      A very well put together hub about the ins and outs of freelancing from both sides. I maintain a few blogs as well as freelance. It can get rough sometimes, but I realize why I love to do it and the value it gives to others. That's what really keeps me going. When people always ask me how do you make money writing or through your blog and I give them some specifics, I get an email or message on Facebook. They ask me I want to make some money, but don't ask about some topics they can write about or write something that genuinely interests them. Right from there I can tell they are in it for the wrong reasons. Money is a great motivator, but it should not be the only one. The amount of hours, sacrifice, and focus takes a while to get to the pay off. What really matters is the value you give your clients and how that parlays into getting references for other clients. It's something to ponder. Great post.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shin, all excellent points that you have made. People always want to know how much money I make and how quickly they can make it. I tell them it depends on their willingness to work and their passion for writing. Without those two ingredients they don't stand a chance.

      Thank you for a great comment.

    • jackcoburn profile image

      jackcoburn 4 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      Nice Hub!

      Very interesting line of work it seems.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      billybuc,

      I don't have freelance writing aspirations, but my best friend is a freelance writer. You are right that competition is fierce. Deadlines are important and it seems to me as if the amounts paid for the work keep shrinking. I don't think I would enjoy that kind of pressure.

      The structure thing is also very important. I drove a cab for a while and got to make my own hours. It worked at first, but then I slacked off. I lack the willpower to make something like that work.

      Good job letting people know what to expect!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jack it is most definitely interesting. Thanks for stopping by!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Georgie, it definitely is not for everyone. People think working for yourself is a piece of cake but it really calls for self-discipline. I think it's important that you realize you aren't cut out for it...maybe at some time later.

      Thank you my friend; take care of you and be happy!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill...I am lovin your VIDEOS! and impressed that you seem to be adlibbing.....But then, a teacher would be a master at that! Ok...I know you do not need any more work, or interests or activities......BUT, I'm thinking.....what about.doing the public-speaking circuit! ?

      High-Schools and Colleges......the SAME topics you're discussing in your hub Vidoes...and more of course. Discuss this with your Mgr/Producer, Miss Bev!

      bill...C'mon, admit it....what would you do without my helpful suggestions? Let's go....get on this project.

      To hell with sleeping and eating and amusement. Work, Work!

      It's OK....don't waste time thanking me......I'll be watching for the Advertaising campaign.......Move it!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      "It seems that the concept of writing for pay is a foreign one to most of the people I run across." It's a foreign concept to a lot of clients, too!! My last client tried to fake me out by saying he was talking to another writer who was willing to work for free to get experience...tell them you have to learn to play a game called Negotiation, Billybuc! Wish it weren't true, but there you are...

      PS... previous comment: "To hell with sleeping and eating and amusement. Work, Work!"

      XD :-( XD

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, they are adlibbed...once a teacher always a teacher! Love your idea but I think one needs some credits to advertise and being a youtube junkie does't quite qualify me for speaking anywhere other than my bathroom. I will, however, bring up the subject with my manager and see what she thinks.

      Unfortunately, she thinks on the same line as you which means I could be speaking at some damn wedding by next week.

      Thanks for the constant support! Wish friends like you, who needs enemies?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Molly, the day is long gone when I'll work for free. If they don't want to negotiate then I wish them a happy life and move on.

      Have you done a hub on your career? I'll have to check! Thanks my friend!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      OMG...give me a few minutes.....I'll list your numerous qualifications!!! Are you kidding me?

      LOL..."speaking at a wedding next week!" That is funny.. Go, Bev!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I'll let you know how it goes. By the time I get done they will probably divorce at the reception.

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      As always, another great and informative article. I'm so glad you listed the pros and the cons of this career, too many people do not understand how hard this work is. Great hub :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you LisaMarie; I do believe I owe you a visit. I'll be right over.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      For those who need the inspiration to make the jump, this hub will do it! I am still building my skills and experience and toying with the possibilities. I do agree that being your own boss is a great incentive, but it also requires discipline to make yourself work towards goals when there is no one to motivate you. Thanks for sharing this one.

    • Ron Hawkster profile image

      Ron Hawkster 4 years ago from United States of America

      Great write-up. Informative, honest and entertaining. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      A very useful hub. I think freelancing is definitely worth it as long as you are determined and consistent. You seem very passionate about your writing career and I wish you the best. Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us. vote up.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      This is definitely worth mulling over. I began writing on hubpages in October of last year because writing has been a passion since I was teeny tiny. However writing is so much more than the creation of a story or researching and putting together a piece of work. It is knowing the how to's of linking and other things which I still have not perfected. I am not making money yet and some days think I will stop wriring on hubpages and just write in my journal. But I keep on plugging away.

      I am retired so do not have to have another income but a few extra dollars would not be turned down!!

      Listening to what you have said reminds me of what I know. This is not easy work and it is work no matter how much we love it.

      One reason I remain on here is I am able to pick the brains of those like you who have become successful doing what you love and what I love. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! I have no doubt you have the type of personality to do this; best of luck to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Ron; thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love, you are welcome; I hope it is of some help. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pstraubie48, thank you! Your words echo those of many others. To tell the truth I knew nothing when I started my freelancing. I knew I could write with good grammar but as far as writing for someone else....well, it was a leap of faith at best and foolhardy at worst. :) Thank you and best of luck to you if you should decide to take the next step.

    • mandarmk9 profile image

      Mandar Karandikar 4 years ago from Ratlam, India

      Nice hub Bill.

      Very useful to newbies.

      Thank you. Voted up and useful.............

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, writing is a job and a tough one at that, inspite of the fact that you are your own boss. It demands all the hard work of a regular job, maybe more.

      I'm surprised that not many people think of writing could be a job.

      Thanks for sharing the good and the bad of the writing business. This sure is a must read for all so I'm sharing it.

      Voted up and useful too.

    • rob_allen profile image

      rob_allen 4 years ago from MNL, PH

      Hi Bill. Thank you for sharing your heart into this. I am 23 and I would like to venture into the freelance pool as well. Thank you for the precautionary measure mentioned in this hub. I will definitely share this one to my followers who has the heart to write for money. :)

    • rob_allen profile image

      rob_allen 4 years ago from MNL, PH

      By the way, I enjoyed the music of the Beatles while reading your hub. Very fitting. Love it :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      An honest, in-depth look at a unique career. This hub has a lot of good info and advice AND it's enjoyable to read. You have talent for making facts very readable. Thanks for writing this.

      I am still on the fence about the freelance gig. Not sure it will pay the bills, but the "real" job is not agreeing with my health. Caught in a bit of a catch 22! For now, I am having a blast writing for fun and reading hubs like this to help me decide.

      I am off to get ready for the the real job! Thanks again. :)

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 4 years ago from Close to Heaven

      Hello Billy I have missed reading your inspiring articles! I am glad I read this one. You are a true inspiration in every way. Thank you for sharing this with us. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mandarmk9, you are very welcome. Thank you for commenting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you for sharing! I hope this helps those who are considering writing for a career.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rob, I am happy if this has helped. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rob, it seemed like the perfect song. Glad you liked it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dana, it's nice to have you visit this old writer. Thanks for dropping by. Yes, it is a Catch 22 and if it is affecting your health it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Bless you and thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Caroline, it is nice to see you again at my humble site. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Esenbee profile image

      Esenbee 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Thanks for sharing this!! I love your hub! :)

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      A great description of the good and the bad Bill, I have been doing this in various places over a year and made maybe $100.00 so I know about the struggles. I am always hopeful that someone will like my style and voice enough to pay me!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      A very straight forward, honest opinion. I loved it. Definitely not a job for the weak of heart of need cash now crowd. It's like any art, you have to work and work before you are "noticed" and then everyone thinks it happened overnight. Yeah, right! :) Great write, Bill. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Esenbee, you are very welcome; thank you for visiting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, that's exactly why I write...sooner or later someone will see my work, like it, and give me millions of dollars. LOL We can always hope and wish.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, Sis, your journey is just beginning. If I can ever be of any help all you have to do is ask. I'm there for ya!

    • M K Paul profile image

      M K Paul 4 years ago from India

      I am new here in HP and find your hub very helpful people like us.Thanks for sharing your thought.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Hi Bill. Thanks for your encouraging, but realistic Hub. Voted up and useful. Russ Moran

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MK, thank you! If I can ever be of help just drop me a line!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Russ, my pleasure. Best of luck to you and thank you for visiting.

    • CR Rookwood profile image

      Pamela Hutson 4 years ago from Moonlight Maine

      Honest and helpful, thanks! I started down this road in 2007 and have seen so many changes online and in print media. At this point, I'm a bit burned out, but my first year writing full time I made about as much as the job I left (lost).

      I think it's getting harder and harder to earn a living doing ANYTHING, not just writing, but once you work for yourself it's definitely harder to work for a corporation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      CR, I agree with you completely. I can't imagine going back to a "normal" job now that I have gone down this writing road. It is definitely a hard journey but for me it's worth it.

    • profile image

      WhydThatHappen 4 years ago

      Really good advice- you're letting people know that it's either for you or it's not. Great! BTW, love the taste in music :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Why, thank you! It is a lot of work but at the end of the day you only have to look in the mirror to find the person to praise or get mad at. :)

    • Sufidreamer profile image

      Sufidreamer 4 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Very nice work, Billy - I sympathise with almost every word! I fell into freelance writing because it was a choice between doing something to make money and starvation.

      I am now three years in to the experience and, although it was very tough for the first 12 months, life is so much better.

      Best of luck for the future - it sounds like you have found your happy place!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sufidreamer, thank you! I definitely like where I'm at right now. Best of luck to you in the future as well.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Marisa Wright 4 years ago from Sydney

      I think you need to add another option to your poll - "Yes, I tried it and realized it would be harder work and more stressful than my day job"!

      In fact, I've come to the conclusion that's true of most work-from-home jobs, if you're seeking to make a real income rather than pin money. Too many of us go into it with the "4 day work week" promises ringing in our ears, only to find we need to put in MORE hours to even approach a decent income. I didn't mind the hours so much, it was the isolation that got to me - I may be an introvert, but I discovered how much I need the buzz of people around me, and sitting alone at my computer all day nearly drove me mad.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thank you Billybuc for this inspiring, realistic and encouraging look at what it means to be a freelance writer...you've made me see that it takes hard work and determination to make it...and I need to step it up some... but am up for the challenge & will keep on going and...maybe one day $$$ will start rolling in:)

      Cheers

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carter, I love your determination; I have no doubt you will make it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marissa, that can be a very real problem. I have a studio I write in but if I need I can walk into the house and visit any old time I need to. This is not the dream job people think it is...it does take work. Thank you.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Marisa Wright 4 years ago from Sydney

      I suppose it depends who's in the house. If you've got a husband and/or kids who are out at work/school all day, then it doesn't help!

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      First, if you ever question your success...just try to comment on your own work as a reader! You have to scroll through pages and pages of other comments. Great job! I find the hardest thing for me is setting boundaries. I tend to feel that since I am working for myself it is harder to tell someone I am unavailable. I am getting better - but still not where I want to be. I do fine when I have work for someone - but not when I am writing for sources I want to send out versus paid sources. :( Time will heal this. Great hub. I think you nailed the pros and cons pretty well.

    • Aaron-Clark profile image

      Aaron-Clark 4 years ago from Northampton, Massachusetts

      EyesStraightAhead-I'm with you 100%. Setting boundaries for oneself can be incredibly difficult. I feel like almost all aspiring writers face the same irony: We hate boundaries and structure (therefore we do this), yet we realize that when we work for ourselves, boundaries and structure are THE nuts and bolts to a writing life. This is a job and the necessities of seriousness and dedication must never be overlooked. I feel your "structural pains".

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marisa, very true! I have Bev here all day long to keep me sane so it works out great.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eyes, I guess there are quite a few comments, aren't there? I didn't realize it until you wrote that.

      I guess I'm a little more protective of my time than a lot of people; this writing thing for me is my passion and I make it well-known that I'm not available. Some might consider that rude but I'm just protecting my space for my business. :) Thank you for the great comment!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Aaron, for chiming in and speaking, I'm sure, for quite a few people.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Being a writer is not easy but if you love it as I do then you can make a living at it. Dedication is needed! You explain the pros and cons well Bill.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Thank you, Bill! That might be pretty soon - when Collin starts school full time in the fall. :) whoohoo!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      No more picking Collin up ap 100 in at the afternoon! hehe :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, those are true words. Dedication and a willingness to work hard. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, very cool! I hope you travel that path and see if you like it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, are you lurking in the shadows of my site again? What am I going to do with you? LOL

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I was so looking forward to reading this hub. You know this is my dream. I'm absorbing all the information and advice I can and am taking baby steps until I get my current situation back on track, as you well know.

      You are an absolute inspiration to me and I trust you implicitly. You speak the truth. Period.

      I will seek guidance from you in a more personal venue when I'm able to once again go full steam ahead. We'll talk, I'm sure.

      P.S. Is that gnat of a nephew/fairy godson flitting in and out of the pages again???

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      What are you talking about Bill?(innocent voice)

      LOL@ bravewarrior!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Do you ever sleep, Josh?????

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Why yes of course, from 4 am til 12pm But other than that, who needs this thing we call sleep anyway? lol hehe :) I enjoy hub hopping around to all my friends hubs to leave witty comments lol

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you never know when Josh is going to show up; he is relentless! LOL...thank you my dear; I am humbled by your praise and grateful that I am able to give you strength during these tough times.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, you are one of a kind...thank God! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, to my knowledge, no, he does not sleep. There is never a time when he isn't online. Even at work I'm getting messages from him while he works.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, I agree, sleep is highly overrated.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      hehe :) Is that a compliment Bill, that I'm one of a kind? :) Yes sleep is definitely overrated lol

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Definitely a compliment Josh!

    • EyesStraightAhead profile image

      Shell Vera 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Aaron Clark, interesting assessment about boundaries and structure. What I have realized is that I thrive on those when I am pleasing others (i.e., work performance, bonuses) but am having a tough time setting them for myself on my own work. For that which I am hired, I do well. But the minute I am working only for myself, I lose the ability to say no. I am getting better. This week I said no quite often!

    • profile image

      Starmom41 4 years ago

      Good hub- & best wishes for your future success!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eyes, a common lament; it is not easy at all.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Star, thank you and best wishes to you as well.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I admire your sense of discipline and tenacity--perhaps those qualities have really helped you in your endeavors--lovely and honest write!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, discipline is necessary for me; I don't do well in an un-structured environment. Thank you for your comment.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I am far to independent and don't like to be accountable to any one. I can't stand interference, so freelance writing is a perfect career for me. I have been successful at it. However, I also do Ghost Blogging which needs some level of accountability and discipline, but that's okay considering the remuneration. Awesome Hub, voted uP!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Anamika! It for sure is not a profession for everyone. Many think they can work at home and be organized but few can actually do it. I happen to love it! :)

    • k2jade31 profile image

      Kimberly Shelden 4 years ago from Idaho

      I am going to give you the best compliment that I would want, I read your Hub all the way through. It was very interesting, and well written. I would love to write for a living, I am truly the happiest writing. I do not know if it will ever become a true career for me, but it would be grand if I could manage to somehow swing it. Thanks for your advice.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Med, you are very welcome! We must feed our soul or writing is just a job. I'm glad I could be of help.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      K2jade, I'm laughing because I understand your compliment completely and I thank you for it.

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

      this is great hub sir, great tips for people like me who have started being regular lately, i love writing and share a passion for the skill

      great hub! shared

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shalini, I'm glad you liked it. If I can ever be of any assistance please, drop me a line and I'll answer any questions you might have.

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

      thank you billy, you are too kind and an inspiration for starters like us :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Shalini!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thank you for being honest and sharing both sides of the coin when working as a freelancer. It's good to know what you're getting into - and not just the niceties of it. Great article Bill! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MelChi, all too often people who think they want to write for a living don't take into consideration the amount of time and effort it takes...and discipline. It is best, I think, to show the good and the bad when discussing this profession. I want to thank you for your loyal following.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you for this! "There are a lot of great writers" - yes! But only one YOU - whoever you may be. Thank you Billybuc for sharing your experiences in your unique writing voice. Very helpful - voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heavenleigh, thank you so much! I wish you well on your writing journey.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you! Continued and Greater Success to you, as well!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heaven, your profile speaks of a person I am happy to follow. I look forward to walking this writing path with you.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 4 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      What you have said is oh so true! There are pros and cons when you are a freelancer writer; but at the same time its so much fun! I am on the computer 8-10 hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes it so hard to even stop by and say hello to all of my friends on HP. You are an inspiration and surely have shed light on the truth! It's crazy our here; but if we are motivated we can do it! Great article my friend, thumbs up! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      AE, it is very true! I am right alongside you each day, 8-10 hours, but it is a passion and it is worth it for me. As long as it remains a passion I'll continue. There are many who think it sounds like a walk in the park but they find out differently very quickly.

      So nice to have you visit! I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      So far it's been a walk in a scary, dark, foreboding Central Park- at-midnight-alone kind of walk for me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heaven, that is, indeed, a scary walk. :) I hope it gets better soon! Thank you for relating that which many people feel.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you! Much Success to you! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you!

    • superpipoy profile image

      superpipoy 4 years ago

      Being a freelance writer is having a very flexible work. You can be a writer for many different people or organization as long as you can deliver all their requirements. Or perhaps you can be a blogger of your own and earn extra money online from your own blogs. If you have other work in the office or whatsoever and you find writing as your relaxation time, this can be a very good opportunity for you to earn extra cash from online blogging.

      Thanks for this very useful and helpful information. It adds another insightful views for me to write another hub in the future. Thanks.

      http://superpipoy.hubpages.com/hub/Finding-Success...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Super, thank you for your comment; best of luck in the future.

    • superpipoy profile image

      superpipoy 4 years ago

      Thanks!

    • creativegenius profile image

      Brian Scott 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for your insight. It's inspiring to hear from a freelancer who is striving for success in this field.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      creative, thank you for your kind words and best of luck to you.

    Click to Rate This Article