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Freelance Writing Points To Consider
What is the main motivation for you writing?
I am fairly certain that there comes a time in the life of every writer when they start to question whether they are following the right path. I have said before and I believe it to be true, that writing is a lonely profession. There are countless hours giving birth to ideas, organizing random thoughts, researching pertinent facts, writing and re-writing, all done without supervision or guidance.
The good news is you have no boss but yourself. The bad news is you have no boss but yourself. There are days when ideas flood your brain in a never-ending creative rush; there are other days when you couldn’t come up with an idea if your life depended on it. All the while you poke and prod at your brain, trying to override the nagging doubts, the incessant questions and the little voices that say you must do more, you must find a better way, you must improve and make a difference.
It is exhausting at times, troubling often and yet always a joy, knowing you have some sliver of a gift that allows you to mix and match words so that they convey feelings. We are the painters of written pictures, the craftsmen of the written word and the magicians who have, at times, the ability to take an isolated moment in time and write 1,500 words about it conveying passion and humor and pathos. The truly good writers, the masters of this art, can capture every single reaction of the senses to a particular happening plus give us a glimpse into the heart and soul while they are spinning their tale, leaving the reader with sweat on the brow, an elevated heart rate and an eagerness for the mysteries of the next page.
For those of us who are not masters the quest continues, always seeking that elusive voice, always looking for the next piece of the jigsaw puzzle so that the picture will become crystal clear and loved by many.
HOBBY OR JOB?
What is the purpose of the writing? To write solely for the passion is a beautiful thing indeed, quietly honing skills in the peacefulness of the day, mixing and matching until the recipe is perfect in every sense. To write for pay is another thing altogether: meeting deadlines, constantly looking for the next paying gig, shaping your writing to adhere to guidelines established quite often by non-writers. Where is the next paycheck coming from? Why are things so slow? Why can’t I sell this idea to anyone? Why are payments so slow and how the heck am I going to pay the utility bill?
Then there are those writers who do both, writing for passion and writing for employment. The best of both worlds? Questionable at best for now it becomes a juggling act, trying to find the time to be creative and yet scheduling time to make a living.
I KNOW BECAUSE I AM THERE
And that, my friends, is where I find myself today. In my heart of hearts I know I write because I am passionate about it. On the other hand I have bills to pay and need to write commercially in order to put food on the table. The juggling act is alive and well in my head and it is not really a matter of trying to juggle too many balls at once, fearing that one will hit the floor, but rather how to juggle only the two balls without one of those balls becoming an apple or orange or heaven forbid an egg. After a time it becomes hard to tell when you have crossed that line, worrying more about being commercial rather than writing from the heart. The deciding factor when considering an article topic becomes what will sell rather than what feels right and that is a rather sticky wicket.
A portion of each day is spent writing articles and blogs for businesses helping them to increase their visibility and thereby increasing their business. It supplements my income and it is a secure field to be in, but there is no passion in it, no expenditure of heart and soul, and my goal has always been to reach the public with my personalized message of love and re-birth.
I offset the business side of my writing by writing on writer’s websites, sending out my own message in hopes that I will become recognized and one day be hired to write meaningful articles for money. I have a message that I feel strongly about and my “voice” is one that seems to resonate with many readers, so I patiently keep plying my trade, trying to improve my craft, in hopes that one day it will be profitable. If I am to attain the ultimate goal of owning my own educational farm then it will have to be paid for through my writing.
AS WITH MOST THINGS IN LIFE, PATIENCE IS THE KEY
I am fully aware that patience is called for in this undertaking. It takes time to break into the writing field and do so in spectacular fashion. There are few Ernest Hemingways out there; for most of us it is a matter of dogged determination and continually churning out the product until someone in the right place at the right time notices.
One of the beauties of sites like HubPages is that passive income is earned over time, and that is all well and good, but passive income will only go so far to reach the goals I have set and most certainly the passive income will be limited unless I choose to write articles about the proper ways to shave your dog and the ten best ways to keep your mate happy and contented. Quite frankly I have no desire to stumble down that path and so by my own admission I will limit my passive income by making that choice.
Do not mistake what I am saying; I have nothing but admiration for those out there who can write those types of articles. Many I have seen have been well-written and written by excellent authors. It simply is not my thing and not a path I choose to travel.
THE FINAL ANALYSIS
In the end I need to write with passion from the heart because that is why I write in the first place. To change that simply for a marketing strategy is against every fiber of my being and it’s much too late for me to change my writing style now. I have no desire to do so. I have received some of the most beautiful comments about my articles on alcoholism, adoption and lifestyle choice, and the connections that I have made with people as I spread my message are heart-warming and so very meaningful to me. Those comment are why I write. I could write the greatest article on how to decorate your home and it would leave me empty. However, the opportunity to write about making positive changes in our lives fills me with hope and excitement and a feeling of real accomplishment.
So the path is before me, a path of my own making and choosing. It is a path I can live with and feel good about as I go to sleep at night. I have the greatest support system a man could hope for in Bev and my friends and I will keep doing my thing and see what happens. A fool’s errand? I think not because if I were to fail at selling my work in the end I will have still succeeded in writing from the heart and soul and to me that is what writing should be.
I wish you all happiness and fulfillment in your endeavors, and may your dreams become realities in the very near future. I send a sincere thank you to my followers, those who have supported me to this point and will support me in the future. I am humbled by your kind words and your willingness to follow me on this journey.
2012 Bill Holland (aka billybuc)
"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."