Freelance Writing Tips from the Homeplace - B
So you are a Freelance Writer!
1. What kind of Freelance Writer are you?
You are a freelance writer, you say. What does that really mean? What are your real goals and objectives. What do you plan do as "a freelance writer?" What does it mean, to you?
Wikipedia defines a "freelancer" as: "a person who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long-term."
So, in this activity, you are self-employed, writing. Writing what? Among the fields that Wikipedia lists, that relate to writing, that commonly use freelancers:
- Copy Editing
- Computer Programming
- Web Design
- Website Development
I suppose what many of us would think that a freelance writer might fall under Publishing, in the list, above. These would include writing to publish in magazines (print or digital), newspapers, (print or digital), eBooks, Novels, Novellas, Short Stories, Poetry, Blogs, corporate content, advertising copy, and so forth. Do any of these include what you want to do? What are other possibilities?
You cannot do all of them at once, by the way… at least not well.
Have you chosen what kind of writing to focus on? To succeed, you must make decisions. This is one of the first. Perhaps you can do more than one at a time. Is that what you hope to do?
Let's consider some possibilities.
The first novel in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga historical fiction stories
Have you considered all your choices?
2. Making choices
For purposes of discussion, perhaps we can eliminate some options and then consider where we might go from there. I will eliminate poetry, first. If you are a poet, more power to you. You have a talent I cannot even fathom, let alone possess. I cannot help you on that one.
Blogging can be put to good use as a support to other writing, so we will save that discussion for another day. From our list, above, let us also eliminate "corporate content" and "advertising copy." If you have the experience and the talent to qualify, again, more power to you. But I cannot help much in those areas. Others can, read their tips and suggestions. ;-)
The rest of the items might be broken down between fiction writing and non-fiction writing. That distinction is sometimes helpful, and sometimes not. Certainly "Novels, Novellas, Short Stories" fall into the fiction category, for sure. This may be an area you want for your concentration. For now, let's discuss that just a little later, below.
Although you may want to publish fiction that you write in magazines and newspapers, generally, writing for these two platforms will be non-fiction. Journalistic skills will generally be applicable. You will do interviews, research, contact experts, perhaps, and write about specific topics of interest to the readers of that specific publication. [We addressed the subject of getting published in magazines in A of this series]
Finally, related to choices, let's take one more look at the first list. There, besides Publishing, we also find Journalism, Screenwritng, Editing, Copy Editing, Proofreading, Indexing, Copywriting. Each of these, as well as the last three on the list, I consider to be very specialized and requiring both special training and/or specialized experience to really succeed as a freelancer. So, we won't consider those further, here.
Did you get a chance to read "A" earllier?
- Freelance Writing Tips from the Homeplace - A
Tips for getting started writing magazine articles from someone who did it this way and was successful. You will want to adopt your own style and adapt to what you find.
The novella in "The Homeplace Saga" stories
Consider your choices carefully
3. Decide on your individualized approach to freelance writing
While you are free to feel a different way, I am comfortable with the concept that a freelance writer can write both fiction and non-fiction, depending on interest and individual ability. There are now, also, growing opportunities to write "creative non-fiction" that may be the best of both worlds. We'll also save that discussion for another time, but it is a great subject for discussion and conversation.
Writing non-fiction material for either print or digital magazines or newspapers is, in my view, the most likely option for most freelance writers. Am I correct? Let's run with that assumption, and you can share your thoughts in the comments.
Last time, in A, I suggested that you find your niche. Do you have a niche? Do you need a niche? Does it matter? We are now approaching the point of a key question that we have ignored to this point:
WHY are you a freelance writer?
- Is it to satisfy that urge, that itch, that simply says: I must write?
- Are you doing it for the money you think you can make?
- Are you writing so that you can see your work in print or on line and say: I did that?
- Are you trying to prove a point to someone? A spouse, a friend, a rival, someone else?
- What is your excuse, sorry, reason to want to be a freelance writer?
Your decision of where, what, how, and when will largely be dependent on your personal answer to that WHY question. Can you answer that question honestly? Until you can, the rest is going to possibly be a problem left unresolved. And, this is likely to lead to continuing frustration and even inability to set up a workable goals and a plan to reach where you want to go in this business. Isn't that really the end result we need in order to be satisfied with our decision to be a "freelance writer?"
If, however, your answer is that first one, "I simply must write," and that really is your only reason, then just write. HubPages here is a great place to do that. Write well, write what you want, enjoy the feedback you get, share it with others, write some more. If that provides the scratch for your itch, simply enjoy it. [I do, by the way!] I'll do my best to participate in reading what you enjoy writing. I hope you'll read what I write, as well. We are a writing community here, after all. Write on!
The latest novel in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga historical fiction stories
Write down your story today
4. You have a story that needs to be told
If there is a story in your head, that just will not go away: WRITE IT DOWN! NOW!
If this is your motivation, nothing else really matters. Get it written now. Later, you can edit it, you can rewrite it, you can "put it in the drawer" - but, right now, nothing is more important than writing. Type it, save it, print it or not, get it out there where it can be examined, by you, and eventually, by others. You do not have to let anyone see it. But, once you have written it down, you can "let it go" in your head. Then, you can think more clearly about what you want to do next. Now, write! ;-)
- "The Homeplace Saga" Blog
The home blog for "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories set in the southern Missouri Ozarks. All updates of the series are mentioned here, regardless of platform. Watch of the release of the forthcoming collection.