If you’re looking to become a professional freelance writer, then you have a long journey ahead of you. That’s not to say it isn’t a great journey, but it’s one with many bumps, roadblocks, and collapsed bridges along the way. This is a summary of what that journey looks like without the sugar coat.
When I first started on the path to a writing a career, I would’ve been amazed just getting paid a few bucks for my work, and I was. Getting paid at all for writing–doing something I love–was something I couldn’t even imagine. The possibility was so new to me.
So when I finally got my first writing gig and client, and was paid, I made a huge deal about it (none of which anyone else cared about, by the way). The thing is, no one can really be as excited as you are about doing what you love for a living.
It’s your passion, not theirs. And those who do share your passion usually want to find out how you made it as far as you did, so they can help themselves out. I know, because I’ve been that person and I still am. We all do it.
Just like any business the process remains to increase client base and rates, or selectively choosing a clientele that can pay the rates that will eventually allow you to survive off of just writing. The goal for us all is to quit that day job!
But the realities of the writing industry are this: most people don’t and can’t survive off of writing earnings alone, and often use their passion as a side-hustle instead. Of course, we all want to hit it big with our almost-done novel or our T.V. spec scripts. We all have the next big idea for the over-saturated entertainment industry.
And although this post seems coated with sarcasm, it really is true. Many of us do have the next great ideas residing comfortably in our very brains. The thing is, there’s a vetting process, and only the determined, borderline-insane writers will finally be discovered and their stories become a trending topic on Facebook and Twitter.
That, or those writers who get lucky and meet the right person at the right time. Yes, that’s a real thing, and sometimes our best bet. Even better though, is to go after both. The problem we run into is time.
Balance the day job, manage the writing assignments and projects, go out and network, and maintain your sanity. That, in a nutshell, is the painful and beautiful journey of being a writer.