Monday, 25 November 2013

Freelance Writing

This post is brought to you by Fang. Who isn't actually writing but made a request. I made a comment on his blog about how I had tried to get into freelance writing a little but nothing came of it. I also freely admit that I probably never tried hard enough anyway. As a matter of fact, no I probably didn't try hard enough at all.

There are several websites out there that you can join up and sell your skills for. This includes more than just writing but I did stick to sites that were mostly, if not exclusively, for writing. There's just one problem with this. It's you, and a load of other people, all going for the same job. You have to undercut them and you have to do a damn fine job of selling yourself. You also need an impressive looking portfolio and it's very hard to get your first few jobs on those places. I actually never got a single job. Part of that was down to being not very confident in my abilities as well as being pretty bad at selling myself. I would pass jobs up that I thought I couldn't do and, when I found a job I could do, I had trouble bringing myself to applying for it. Despite my amazing job of selling myself on last Friday's post, my confidence levels still tend to waver a lot. I still think to myself a lot that I'm not as good as I think I am. The thing is that I have to think that. I have to know I can always be better. I also have to know that I'm good enough for things though, because I am more than good enough. Like The Joker said; "If you're good at something, never do it for free." I can hardly say though after writing a 180k word story I put up for free...

I do have some more resources now though. I just have to take the time to study them and with things being so hectic, and me being so nervous about trying to sell myself as it is, that has not gone too well. Like most things, it's all about getting your foot in the door. That can be pretty tough unless you know what you're doing. For example I'm not very good at SEO writing. I also don't know how well I'd be able to write a speech or something. Or a script. It's not like it's hard to practice but then the lack of motivation and drive comes into things.

In short, freelance writing can be pretty tough. It's worth knowing what you're doing. Both in terms of your writing abilities, and in terms of freelance writing itself. There are plenty of resources so it's not hard to learn how to get into it. Succeeding in it is a whole other venture. I applied for things I knew how to do, such as converting a document into a file for Kindle (which I did for Tulips) and I didn't get it. I never actually got one writing job. It sucks but that's the way it is. Like almost everything in life, carry yourself with confidence and you'll get there.

I'm just...not particularly great at that. Still, Fang is a freelance developer. He knows how to be freelance so if he polished up his writing skills and had faith in them, he could probably do pretty well.

7 comments:

  1. Hey that's me! (I wouldn't call myself a freelance developer, have yet to get serious about it, but hey, thanks for that either way! (The polishing up is like 90% of the learning curve though, haha.))
    So the jobs on there range from writing articles to pretty much... anything? Promotional writing is something entirely different from fiction though, so there's bound to be some jobs not suited to you. But maybe you can go back and take another look at it one of these days? You've probably improved a lot (can't tell, still no Immortal Space updates) so chances are you have a decent shot now. And there's a published book on your portfolio, how cool's that?

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  2. Freelance writing is never something that either of us could break into, because it's one of those stupid Catch 22s where it's like, you need experience before they'll even consider you. But... where do you get the experience if no one will consider you? Maybe you guys will have better luck than we did.

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  3. I hope the freelancing goes well. I thought about trying it, but my journalism skills are a little too much on the radical side... Keep at it!

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  4. I think as easy as freelance writing sounds in theory like said here it actually turns out to be nowhere near as easy. Good luck with it buddy for both of you guys, it's difficult but can be very rewarding.

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  5. I was considering trying some freelancing, but as soon as I visited one of those sites and saw the competition, I changed my mind. I don't exactly have an impressive portfolio. Now, I apply to writing positions at blogs that have the potential and drive to be a good long-term investment. For instance, I like satire. So I apply to blogs that are based on comedy and satire and have a good following. No bites just yet though.

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  6. i dont do so well once constraints start being put on me as to how i have to write...though i would agree def worth knowing though...esp in this medium...

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  7. Like yourself and other commenters on here, I've also thought about getting into freelance writing. However, I already have a full time job, and a regularly updated Blog, and a book launch coming soon, and a sliver of a social life to cling to. If you do persue this path, then good luck to you as the competition looks very fierce.

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