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How To Be A Freelance Writer And Stay Sane

Updated on October 4, 2013

A Reality Check

I read a book a couple years back titled “Freelance Writing Freedom in Ninety Days.”

I’m still laughing today.

Shortly after reading that book I read another book titled “Six-Figure Income From Freelance Writing.”

I’m still laughing today.

I’ve been doing this freelance writing gig for two years and eight months and I gotta tell ya, I’m not making six figures yet and I’m certainly not free.

Is it possible? Were those books just blatant lies to entice the unsuspecting and hopeful to buy their books? I think calling someone a liar is a bit harsh. Let me just say that there is a huge gap between possible and reality. Yes, if the stars perfectly aligned, it is possible to make a six-figure income as a freelance writer. Yes, it is possible to find financial freedom in ninety days as a freelancer….but….don’t bet your kid’s college education money on it.

The reality of freelance writing is that it is hard work, and it requires determination and a dogged stubbornness and talent and some good old-fashioned luck. Ninety days to freedom? I found my first customer in ninety days, and it paid $30. Within six months I was making $600 per month and within a year I was making $1000 per month, and that was steady income that could be counted on.

Everything I make over and above that thousand per month depends on my knowledge of this business and my hustle skills.

Now, if you aren’t too discouraged, let’s chat some more about things you need to be aware of if you are seriously considering this freelance writer life.

Living without a safety net
Living without a safety net

Let’s Get the Bad News out of the Way First

Being a freelance writer is never-ending and there are few safety nets. You have all heard the saying “don’t quit your day job” and it certainly applies to freelance writing. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I did exactly that. I quit a good-paying teaching position to write full-time, and it was definitely a struggle at first. However, having no safety net definitely makes one determined and motivated. J

I know other writers who followed my path, and they struggled, and the bills piled up, and the medical benefits were nowhere to be found, and there are nights when a freelance writer will lay awake at night and question their own sanity….and rightfully so.

Still, you can make it. Thousands are making it right now, and the opportunities are growing because of the online world, and there is money to be made.

Let me toss out some suggestions that I consider valid based on my experience. They may not work for you but they are worth considering.

One method to find freelance jobs

Worth watching

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

Success in freelance writing is based on your writing talent, your networking skills and your ability to run a marathon when every fiber of your being is hoping for a sprint.

Relationships are gold in this business. Make contacts in the writing world and then cultivate those contacts. When you find an editor or publisher willing to look at your work, or if you are fortunate enough to have an article accepted, make sure you return to that editor or publisher with more article ideas.

The same can be said for fellow bloggers. Develop friendships with them and become part of a writing community. Good fortune can and will strike, but you have to position yourself so that you are on the receiving end.

EMBRACE THE INTERNET

Most writers starting out have visions of writing for The New Yorker or Better Homes and Gardens, but the reality is that you have a much better chance of being published in an online publication. Surf the web for publications that interest you, and look for opportunities. Most publications have a certain amount of work that is given to their paid staff, but almost all of them also farm out work to freelance writers.

My first online gig was with a magazine called Our Iowa. I had an article about my memories of visiting Iowa as a ten year old, and I pitched it and it was accepted. You better believe I have now established a relationship with the editor of that publication. Do I live in Iowa? No! Can I write about things Iowans find interesting? You bet I can!

STEP OUT OF THE BOX

I like to think that I have a pretty good sense of humor, so I use that humor when contacting editors and publishers. Remember that these people, who are the final word on whether you will get published, receive thousands of query letters each month, and I’m willing to bet that most query letters are business-like in their approach.

I choose to be fun and funny when I contact an editor. I want them to remember me, so I write to them like we are old friends chatting over a couple of beers.

I also point out to each of them what they will get if they publish my work. I want them to understand that there are advantages to publishing my work, and I want them to understand how they will benefit by doing so. I do not grovel at their feet and beg them to publish my work; instead, I appeal to their needs and explain how I meet those needs.

WHILE ON THE SUBJECT OF QUERY LETTERS

I have said this before and I’ll say it again: if you do not make your query letter incredible then it makes no difference how good of a writer you are. Find a good angle, offer unique ideas, or don’t even bother submitting work.

There is no doubt in my mind that if Hemingway, with all of his brilliance, were to send off a query letter today that was boring and bland, he would be rejected. Such is the nature of the writing world today, so make those query letters memorable, socko and whamo!

One quick side note about query letters for articles: most magazines are looking for articles in the 700-1000 word range. If you write for a site like HubPages they recommend 1250 words or more….I guess it comes down to what is important to you with regards to the length of an article.

DO INTERESTING THINGS AND THEN WRITE ABOUT THEM

Imagination is a wonderful thing but you can’t write with authority using your imagination. The more experiences you have the more you have to write about. Duh!

Get out of your writing studio and experience life. Try new activities and then give them your own unique perspective in an article.

Take up ballroom dancing. Go hiking. Go fishing or parasailing or learn to dig clams. Do writers always write about something they are knowledgeable about? No, but it certainly helps in the long run, and if you are developing a niche, and you should be, then having background knowledge is vital for your credibility.

Do interesting things and write about them
Do interesting things and write about them
My opinion of day jobs
My opinion of day jobs

Are you a full-time freelance writer?

See results

Do Not Give Up

This is a numbers game. Get comfortable with the fact that you will be rejected many more times than you will be accepted. Don’t give up!

If you are not sending query letters out daily then you are not playing the numbers game. I have a backlog of 550 articles that I am constantly pitching. How else am I going to become available for success if I’m not willing to make myself available? Again, duh!

Let me present you with a common scenario. A writer pitches an article to an online magazine and it is accepted and published. They make $100 for the article. A month later that article is read by the editor of a larger print magazine, and the writer is contacted and offered two articles paying $5000. Those two articles in turn lead to a syndicated column for a major newspaper, and now that one article to a small, online magazine has led to a steady income.

Far-fetched? Not by a long shot. It happens every single day in the world of freelance writing and it might as well happen to you.

Or another scenario….a writer does a guest blog for an online publication. Six months later he is offered a paying article for that same publication, and two months after that he is asked to become a regular staff writer for them.

That is how the freelance game is played. There are few overnight successes so settle in, get comfortable, put on your work boots, and start trudging down the path to success.

And don’t quit your day job!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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

      Brian, you can do it either way. The bigger mags, the national mags, will only accept query ideas. The smaller periodicals will be much more likely to buy a piece already written.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      So you write an article first and then look for a buyer rather than find a buyer first and write what they request?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MetroidFans, I wish you good luck. It can be done. Read as much as you can from people who have been there and done that...build your platform and credibility....if I can do it in six months then we know it can be done. :)

    • MetroidFan89 profile image

      D. Shaw 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Mr. Billybuc this was a very good read. I'm delving into the world of video game journalism so I'll be writing reviews and strategy guides. I know it'll take me some time to make income, but I'm more than willing to put in the hard work for it. I just had to get out of a horrible retail job that was ruining my life and my health. I have $6,000 saved up but I am in no means just going to rely on that money. I'm going to give it my all and do my very best. You've inspired me to not give up and I'm ready to get started.

      I also have to do this because I want to have enough money to move out of my parent's house. I can't stay there and live and lie, pretending to be someone I'm not. It's time for a change, and I'm ready.

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

      Richard, you have some wonderful observations here, and I would say you are doing quite well as a part-time freelancer. I have no doubts you will do fine full-time, especially if you haven't even tapped into the magazine side of this business. Thanks for your thoughts and good luck with that big move of yours.

    • Richard-Bivins profile image

      Richard Bivins 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Great advice here Bill... I've been freelancing for several years now but only part time as I've been working as a full time consultant in the architectural and building industry... but that is changing because I'm moving out of Chicago to tiny town in South Carolina near Charleston. My consulting will not transfer well there so I am going to ramp up my freelance writing. To date, my best year of earnings derived from my writing has been close to $25k. Only $250 of that came from submitting to magazines. The majority came from writing white papers for local businesses. Considering that I have only devoted roughly 10 hours a week to that part of my craft, I'm certain that I can easily replace my consulting income by going full time.

      "...you can’t write with authority using your imagination." These words of yours should be remembered by every person attempting to become a freelance writer. If you want to continue loving your craft, instead of coming to believe that it is just work, then half the fun in writing comes from experiencing what you write.

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

      I'm not hard to find if you need me, Jon. :)

    • JonLaird profile image

      JonLaird 3 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Bill. I appreciate the feedback and offer for support...I most likely will be taking you up on that offer!

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

      Jon, best wishes to you on your new path. If I can provide any insight into this life, feel free to contact me. Thank you.

    • JonLaird profile image

      JonLaird 3 years ago from United States

      Hi Bill,

      Just wanted to say that this article was a rather serendipitous discovery for me today. I just transitioned from the "normal" 9:00-5:00 world in order to work on my own schedule and have a better work/life balance, and as you know from experience, it's been incredibly difficult. This article provided some GREAT suggestions for additional ways for me to get my name - and writing - out to readers.

      Thanks again!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Susan! I'll take a look at that site.

    • susanc01 profile image

      Melissa Spicer 4 years ago from Kentucky

      I think that your point about having a safety net cannot be stressed enough. I make the bulk of my income as a freelance writer from this site: https://www.cloudcrowd.com/i/7u498z

      (Yep, that's my referral link).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crafty....it could happen. I'm not altruistic to the point that I don't want it to happen to me. I think I can handle fame and fortune just fine. LOL Having said that, we just never know when or if fame will happen....I think the money is out there but it takes one hell of a lot of work to achieve it. Best wishes to you and your family and thank you for sharing a part of your story.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Billy, I have to tell you, when you said above, "Six-Figure Income From Freelance Writing....I’m still laughing today.", I'm "write" there laughing with you! (yes, pun intended)

      One day while waiting for my son in the lobby at his therapist's office, I picked up a magazine and read an article about a family struggling to make ends meet because they had spent their live savings on their son with Autism. That hit home because I'm in a very similar situation. The article said that the husband started writing online and made about $260,000 a year which they invest in their son's medical needs.

      So here I am writing online. It looks great in a magazine article. In fact, I'm sure the magazine sold a lot of copies from that one issue. It enticed me to start writing! :0)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deanna, welcome to HubPages and thank you. If you are barely making ends meet with your freelancing then you are doing something right. :) Best of luck to you and if I can help you here feel free to drop me a line with questions.

    • Deanna-Balestra profile image

      Deanna Balestra 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great article with honest advice and a sense of humor!

      I've always loved writing and have done it in part of many jobs but did not start using it to make money (in the form of freelance writing and blogging) until I lost my job and had to come up with something else to do! So far I've been just barely making ends meet but getting stronger and more profitable month by month! I'll be looking forward to reading more of your articles on the subject!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, you have my admiration for the amount of writing you have done while having a full time job. Well done my friend, and thank you for stopping by.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is great advice, Bill. It is tough being patient and being rejected all the time, but it is a must. That whole "keeping you day job" thing is both a blessing and a curse. It is tough writing during your lunch break, but it can be done. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, I think freelancing part-time is a smart way to go. I wouldn't suggest anyone do what I did. LOL

      Thank you my friend and blessings always to you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Deb....I have a few to fall back on no matter which magazine I submit to, and that's a nice feeling.

      Thank you Deb and have a great Sunday at Boomer Lake.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, I hope you never give up. You are a natural storyteller and you will do well if you keep honing your craft. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kas, no excuses for sure. Life has a way of derailing us from time to time. If I had a young wife and a child on the way...and a new home...my writing would be non-existent. Best wishes with the new baby my friend, and thank you for the kind words.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I freelance parttime and it is nice to have some extra income each month. I agree it is work and I like the way you expained the query letter. I always learn some important facts from yours hubs. Thanks.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Definitely don't quit your day job. But be prepared for the future. Have several articles on a NUMBER OF THINGS available to use. Better to be prepared than have to hustle like the devil is on your tail if that editor wants you NOW.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I will take these words to heart when I think what I should do in the future.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Well Bill, it's definitely an encouraging article to be sure. That's always something great I take away from yours is your sense of humor. I have laughed out loud at a few of the things I've read on almost every article of yours and I'm just glad I found such a Diamond in the Rough. I've been taking an extended sabbatical from Hubpages recently as my wife and I just moved into a new place and have been prepping to have our little girl soon. No excuses to my backing out for a while, just reality and time and more responsibilities being handed to me. I'm hoping to sit down and really push into this a lot more soon. I'm glad to have your articles to come back to and remind me to hang in there!

      God bless ya and keep on persevering!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, you are doing this perfectly. All it takes is time and determination with a niche like yours. There is a plan in place and you are following it, and I just know you will make it.

      Thank you for your kind words my friend. I love everything that you are doing.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amazing, thank you so much for the kind words and the following.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lawdoctorlee, thank you so much. It is good to see you again; I hope you are well.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Apologies for tardiness, but you know you are ALWAYS not far from my thoughts! Every time I write my tagline there you are, every time I write an opening or closing paragraph, there you are. Every time I want to develop my skills in writing (always) there is my yoda! So you see Bill, you inspire, your words matter and many of us DO follow your teaching.

      Yes I want to develop and develop as a freelance writer, miles to go but I have the determination and passion to make this niche really work. I do not work presently so (work left me like Marlene) it is onward down this path be it full-time or part-time time will tell but more avenues are on the horizon and agenda. Thanks Bill for another great lesson!

    • AMAZING THINKER profile image

      AMAZING THINKER 4 years ago from Home

      Nice Hub, you are a good writer.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 4 years ago from New York, NY

      You did it again. Another great hub! Love your work, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl my friend, I understand discouraged. I think every writer goes through it....and oddly I find comfort in that. :)

      Thank you and have a relaxing weekend.

      bill

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, As always you deliver! I am going through a period right now where I am quite discouraged. Everything seems to go in cycles, and I know that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I take all your great advice to heart as you know. Voted Up++ ;) Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, inspire I will, and for you...keep writing with passion for the craft. :) Thank you Sir!

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 4 years ago from Italy

      This is a commentary I am waiting for. It is full of inspiration and different struggle from writers to writers.

      Keep up the good work Billy. Inspire!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, we live in a world where instant results are expected. It just doesn't happen that way in writing and I don't care how good you are. You have to pay your dues in this business.

      Thank you as always my friend and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Thank you for the tips with regards to the query letters. It doesn't matter if you haven't made a six-figure income yet Bill, but the most important thing here is that you are someone who is serious about writing. Not only that but you have very good writing skills and a number of fans from around the world. I think you have the drive and determination to make it as a freelance writer, no doubt about that. Thank you for the encouragement of not giving up. Many people in general tend to quit when they don't see results right away. Voted up useful

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poetic, it is my pleasure. A realistic look at it is always better. That way you can plan and have realistic expectations. This is a marathon and by no means a sprint.

      Thanks for the visit; I always appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you very much, and I hope you have a great weekend in Dubai!

    • profile image

      Poetic Fool 4 years ago

      Thanks for the realistic view, Bill. It's nice to hear an honest take for a change from someone who has been there. A freelance writer has a much better chance of success is they go into it with realistic expectations, both of the market and of how much hard work it really takes. I'm not freelancing myself at the moment but am looking into it as retirement approaches. Your hub has been very helpful. Thanks again!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub. Thinking out of the box helps to experiment and write on new topics. As you say we should never give up and keep trying. A great write.Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Skye, that brought a smile to my face..."Bill's box of tools"...thank you so much for that, and for the joy you bring with each of your comments. You are a Rocky Mountain high if there ever was one, and I am grateful for your friendship.

      love from Olympia

      bill

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      billy buc brother you are the best. Thank you again for another great hub of love. Your hub is a motivator; keep on, keeping on and do not give up! Stand firm and keep going even if you do not feel like it get up, get going. That is what we need to do not only with writing but in life! It is not an easy and comfy ride. We gotta hang tight allot of the times. Keep on and keep pressing to the crown of Glory. Love it. I am so grateful you share your knowledge with all of cyberspace to see. I have bookmarked marked your hubs 'bills box of tools; for winning' Love the picture bill! love ya your sista, Skye

      shared voted

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Saloca, I don't know of any writers who make it overnight. This is a marathon, and I agree, the first thing you have to do is find that passion again. Best of luck to you and if I can be of any help let me know.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jalapeno, it is very easy to get discouraged; I went through it last week. We just have to fight our way through those tough times and keep aiming for our target. Best of luck to you and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I am honored and I thank you! You are a giver as well, and the admiration is mutual.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lyricalvibes, and best wishes to you.

    • Saloca profile image

      Saloca 4 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      This is all exactly what I needed to hear right now! I'd fallen out of love with writing for the last few months and am no trying to ease myself back into it. I need to set some new goals and not to give up so easily when I fail to see overnight results, I need to write for the passion again, and hope the profit follows eventually!

      Thanks :)

    • Jalapeno10 profile image

      Jalapeno10 4 years ago

      This is great advice; it's so easy to get discouraged when writing because of high competition, rejection, and of course people who don't want to pay fairly for your work and would take advantage. Every bit of wisdom from someone who's making a living from it is a gem. Great hub!

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Such an ocean full of advices. The thing is that you don't stop in the hub, in your comments you continue with individual needs. I really admire you Bill. I know that I have let you know about my admiration, but you really are outstanding.

      Thanks for helping spread our wings to fly!

    • Lyricalvibes profile image

      Reza Vergara 4 years ago from Orange County, CA.

      For a novice blogger like myself starting out in this field is not an easy task, but there are a lot of helpful tips and great pointers in this article to help me over come some of the obstacles that I may face in the future, Thank you !

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, the only target is the one you are aiming at. You can share any thoughts you have here my friend, and I'm happy that you have so many interests. I do as well, but there is no doubt that writing is my passion...but more than that....it is what I can do with my writing....I can reach thousands with a message, so that those you spoke of, who need a good meal and a better future, have a voice in my writing. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      time2rite, I'm in it for the long run, and I doubt it lightning will strike. I think there is a payoff down the road but it is a long, long road. :) Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, once a teacher always a teacher I'm afraid. LOL...thank you Sir, and I hope your day is a good one as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Alicia! I greatly appreciate your loyalty.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You know while i was reading this, my thoughts turned to me, and i was so happy that i am not driven to write. I do enjoy writing something that i enjoy and hopefully others will too, but it it not the most important thing in my life. There are so many things to enjoy first and foremost, our families, our friends, hobbies, our homes, and helping and giving to people who care nothing about writing, they only want a good meal and a chance for a better future. I know i am off target and i apologize, just felt like voicing my thoughts....Cheers..

    • time2rite profile image

      time2rite 4 years ago from Navarre, Fl, USA

      Awesome advice, Billybuc, thanks! It is indeed work, but it can be quite fun, to be a freelance writer. I'm definitely with you on not quitting the day job. I've known a couple of friends who have been fortunate enough to be paid here and there for their articles, and even go on to be published authors, but for the vast majority of us it's going to be a long, steady process.

    • rajan jolly profile image

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

      Bill, another winner here! You keep drilling these tips in our minds till they get firmly implanted. Lol! Thanks for another brilliant hub which needs to be shared. Voted up and useful as well.

      Have a super day, my friend!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for creating another useful hub to add to your wonderful collection, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Faith, my loyal friend, I hope you are able to do that in six years. You have a great deal to offer the world through your written words and a message that will never grow old.

      blessings always my dear

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I love your honesty. It is not for everyone and that's for sure. I think it's wonderful that you recognize that fact and that you have so many other interests. Thanks for the visit and for sharing my friend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Dearest Bill,

      I am hoping in about six years to be a full-time freelance writer. Right now just seeing whether people like to read what I write and learning a lot from you!

      Thanks for another inspiring hub here.

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I have to be honest with myself: I will never be a full time writer because I am not self disciplined enough first of all, and secondly I enjoy doing too many other things than just write.

      I admire people like yourself who can write full time, though.

      Voted UP and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sinea, I was having this conversation with my wife today because I was feeling the strain of economics and whether I had made the right choice.....this is a very tough business, and it can be extremely lonely. The only people who really understand are other writers...that's why I love HP so much. :) Thanks for sharing.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Billybuc, so much good advice here. I think the "do not give up" is golden. I have read that some of our veterans on HubPages have had their work recognized by others who have hired them for some significant paid jobs. Had they given up, those opportunities may have never come their way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, seriously, thank you very much. I come with an old-fashioned work ethic that will not allow me to rest on whatever laurels I have gathered.....there is a drive inside that is on automatic pilot. :)

      As soon as the cooler weather gets here we'll send it southeast my friend.

      Aloha

      bill

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I have three facts for you today, Bill.

      1) You're famous!

      2) You remain down to earth.

      3) I learn a heck of a lot from you!

      I'm not kidding about the first one, either. You've done a superb job of writing, and you've equaled that by promoting yourself. Voila! As a successful writer who refuses to sit on his laurels and instead continues to hustle on a daily basis, you've built a huge following. And I for one am in awe of that! The best news of all for you today is to know that you inspire me. That, my friend, is how I'm thanking you today!

      Aloha, and send some of that coolness to the SE corner of our state!

      ~Joe

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I will never understand writer's block. Possibly on a novel, but certainly not for articles. How could you not find ideas in the world?

      Thank you as always for leaving your insights.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Efficient, this is a brutal business and I'm happy you aren't quitting that job. I would probably change my approach if I knew then what I know now. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I swear, people have got to understand how important query letters are.....as you said, they need to be treated as the most important thing we have ever written or else don't even bother sending in the query or article.

      Thanks for the confirmation my friend.

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      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Great advice. Thanks for letting us know that it's not always roses but things could get better. I don't plan to quit the day job anytime soon.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Bill. I have always believed that query letters should be written like one-of-a-kind original articles with dash and panache. So it's comforting to see that you are of a similar mind. I hereby dub you the Writing Consigliere of Hubpages.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, I consider that the highest praise and I truly do thank you! I hope you are well my friend.

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      Heidi Thorne 4 years ago from Chicago Area

      I think you and I read the same books. :) I thought it would be cool if I could make $100K a year doing something I was good at. But I knew how hard it was to make that come true. Still read some of those books for inspiration on what's possible, just not probable.

      I am firm believer in the "get out there and get experiences" policy. I'm always looking for story ideas for either my own or clients' work. And they're everywhere! Even going to the local fast food joint can provide a wealth of ideas.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      More excellent tips and inspiring ideas!..You give it to us straight, warts and all.

      So much of this type of work promises the world, but the reality invariable tells a different story. You write from personal experience, giving generously with each article, I don't know how you do it, but I'm so glad you do. Thank you for this, Voting up and sharing, my best to you as always.

      Jo.

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      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Bill - Your advice is sound, and the style in which you offer it to other writers is motivational. I read your blog and try not to miss your Hub articles about writing because there's always something helpful for me in each of them.

      Voted Up++ and shared

      Jaye

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, thank you kind lady. Just doing what I was born to do.

      I hope you are well. Sending a hug and love your way.

      bill

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Bill,

      Your self discipline, balance and generosity of sharing what you are so good at make you a beautiful and supportive role model in our community. I am always inspired when I stop by your work.

      Thank you and have a lovely day. Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Cam, you are very welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, it seems to me there is a hub in there....about losing your job and hustling to make ends meet....

      Thank you as always....what a great virtual friend you are. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, I would love to have a gig like that....I guess I'd better work harder. :) thank you for your kind words.

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      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Very helpful insights Bill. Thanks for the encouragement.

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      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I just boxed up two loads of books to send to the library. A few of them are books about how to be a freelance writer. I didn't quit my day job... my day job quit me, so I threw myself into freelance writing full-time. I'm not generating six figures like that one book said I would. But, hustling for jobs seems to be the name of the game. Thanks for the reminder to keep on pushing on.

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      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for information and encouragement, Bill. I agree you should be writing a daily advice column for writers. I guess that is nearly what you are doing with your hubs.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, those boxes can be smothering, can't they? This is a tough business and not everyone should try it....the flip side of that is people shouldn't quit simply because it is tough. :) Thanks for always being here.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, it is not realistic at all. Sure there are those who do it, but that is a handful vs the thousands who barely scrape by. Keep your job my friend, and the day will come when you can write without having to worry about starving in the process. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome Mark. Thank you for stopping by again.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy no, that is not reality. I'm in a down mood today and was yesterday. There are days I just want to go get a real job and quit with this nonsense....and then Bev tells me that I am our economic hope, and I have talent and should never let talent go to waste....and I pick myself up and try again. This is a bitch of a profession and it is not for everyone....not by a long shot. :)

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      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Well, if I had been the Minnesota powerball winner, I could have quit my day job....alas, not the case. Making six figures freelancing would be pretty amazing, but doesn't seem too realistic. Thanks for the reality check!

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I like how you point out that things work out perfectly for some, but for most of us that's not the case. We can't all hit the jackpot. I used to read a blog by a guy who got the first two well-paid blogging jobs he applied for, and was soon making thousands each month. His message is basically, if I can do it so can you. But that's not reality. I mean, maybe, but not likely. This leads to readers/writers feeling pretty crappy about themselves when they don't achieve the same overnight success. I know, because I tend to do that! Bruce needs to talk me out of the fog every time I get stuck in it.

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      Mark Johann 4 years ago from Italy

      Thanks for this hub. I believe many are also thinking of leaving the daily job for writing. I agree on what you say.

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      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Bill - As difficult as it is, and I imagine it is very difficult, you still make it sound enticing! :) Your article is still inspiring. Why? Because you did it. You jumped without a parachute and made it work. Can that happen for everyone? I don't know. For me, I think where this is a will there's a way. I have yet to delve fully into the world of freelance but I have the motivation and didn't know there was a box to think inside of! LOL. Thanks again for another motivational hub.

      ~Liz

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Life and fun, Kathryn.....gotta have it! We have to laugh more, smile more, feel more, experience more....live more.

      Thank you dear friend and have a great day in Boston. Good news is heading your way...I believe that.

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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I'm glad you let people know the reality of being a full-time freelancer. I also enjoyed your tips, especially the one about doing new things, and writing about it. That makes life more fun!

      Have a great day, my friend!

      ~ Kathryn

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, it's easy to be discouraged and I understand. I'm going through it right now. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Penlady, I always laugh when I write that....don't quit your day job...because that's exactly what I did....but it forced me to work hard and learn fast, and I guess in the end it all worked out. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, thank you so much. I love being helpful and it helps me to read a comment like yours.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, a small living and we build on that....this takes time and I don't think a lot of people understand that...thus this reminder. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, life back to normal? I don't even know what normal means. LOL For your sake, I hope that's a good thing, and I hope the Writer's Market serves you as well as it has served me.