So, You Want to Embark on a Freelance Writing Career?
Good luck with that, my friend.
I know, I know, it’s too early in my freelance writing career for me to sound as bitter as I do now. And I don’t mean to sound bitter, I’m actually having a lot more fun at work than I have done in a long time.
But, as I’m quickly discovering,This freelance writing lark isn't as easy as I first thoughtClick To Tweet.
As some of you may know, this is the second time I’ve tried this game, but admittedly this time around I was a lot more determined to be successful. And, although I’m not a millionaire yet, so far it seems to be paying off. (I’ve probably just gone and jinxed it now).
Why did I begin this adventure?
It’s simple really. I didn’t want to get a real job. I absolutely could not face traveling into town every day, dealing with people, and then traveling back home again. Been there. Done that. Well and truly over it.
What I wanted to do, and still want to do, is earn a living from my writing and my other business, Women without children, Loving the World. And I want to do that, from the Crypt in my home. That’s not too much to ask, surely? Other people do it. All those people on the internet, for example.
Yes…well…let me tell you something about all those people on the internet. They ain’t telling you the full story.
And they like to confuse you. Those people on the internet tend to argue with each other.
The problem is, everyone has an opinion and that’s what they write about in their posts. Their opinion.
When I first decided to pursue a career working from home, that was my first hurdle. Trying to figure out which opinion to follow and which to discard. And the first time around I got it all wrong.
How did I get it so wrong and how did I fix it?
You have to remember that I wasn’t overflowing with self-confidence about my writing skills at the time. I’d written the first draft of a novel and a couple of blogs. People had told me my writing was good, but it was mostly family and friends that read it, so they were likely to be biased.
I decided to ignore all the internet gurus who insisted that you don’t use the content mills but you should set up your website and charge $100 an hour. Don’t get me wrong, that might have actually worked for them, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to work for me.
I took myself off to Upwork (nope, not an affiliate) and began applying for anything I and everything I thought I was even remotely qualified to do.
You’re sniggering at me right now, aren’t you?
Yup, that’s right. All that got me was a couple of offers at $1 an hour, a Depressive episode, and another two or three trips to the therapist to try and understand why I’m such a miserable loser with no self-esteem. And to top it all off, I’d used all my “connects” so I wasn’t able to apply for more unless I wanted to pay for them. And I so didn’t.
Obviously, the freelance life was not for me.
The magical powers of a group of women all heading to the same place
Is there anything in this world more powerful than a bunch of women who set out to do something?
I’ve been lucky enough to become involved in not only one, but two, groups of powerful women in a business mastermind that I attend with my Valtie business. (What’s a Valtie? It’s a Valued Auntie, who doesn’t have children of her own but is still one of the wisest, most valuable, and loving people you’ll ever know). And one of the things the mastermind of this mastermind is really good at is helping yours truly get to the bottom of what I need to do.
What did I need to do? I needed to earn enough money in a job, that allowed me the time to work on my Valtie business, without making me hate myself and my life.
By this stage, the idea of actually getting a job made me feel ill, so I decided I would give Upwork another go. Only this time, I was going to be a bit more clever about it. This time, I only applied for jobs that looked like fun. I stopped looking for that one job and built my day up with several little jobs. I even got fired from one of them (Oh, the shame!)
So here I am, about three months later, with three contracts, for work that I love doing. I’ve got a variety of topics to write about, I’m learning heaps and I can do it all naked apart from my Vampire Bunny slippers if I want to. (Sorry about that mental image).
I’m no expert, I can’t tell you the best way to start a freelance writing business. I can only tell you how I did it. And I promise to keep you informed of how it’s going. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the best way to manoeuvre around Upwork, or how to stay motivated for freelance work, or even where to buy Vampire Bunny slippers, hit me up in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.
Oh, and please feel free to share this post with anyone you think might enjoy it. No hurry. I’ll just be over here in the Crypt, typing my lil ole heart out.
Now. If I can just figure out a way to get someone to do my housework, I’ll be sorted.