Being a freelance writer is anything but easy. Despite the challenges, good writing comes from people who stay motivated, tenacious, and keep their fingers nimble.
After four years of college consisting primarily of vigorous devotion to the art of the personal essay, I found it hard to pick up my passion for writing and do anything with it after graduation. Stepping back crippled my ability to seize opportunity and find joy in my work. The only cure for a weak freelance writer is perseverance and practice, and with that knowledge we can all be better writers together!
1. Keep Writing.
It may seem like an obvious statement, but too many people let their skills deteriorate instead of seeking opportunities. Start up a blog, keep a journal, jot down your thoughts on cocktail napkins at Starbucks. The more that you write, the easier you’ll find it is to approach assignments and make the most of paid opportunities when they come knocking.
2. Diversity Breeds Opportunity
Especially while you are still building your confidence and your resume, try dabbling in different genres and subject matter than what you are used to. Do a profile on a local business owner or write a short story. Each and every piece you write strengthens your skills and makes you a more marketable candidate for freelancing jobs.
3. Network, Connect and Share
If no one knows you’re writing, how can you expect to ever be published? Write to a blog and share it with friends and family. Connect with people you know who may have connections in the writing and publishing industry. Attend workshops and book signings. Wherever you can get the chance to tell others about your writing, take a leap.
4. Consider Rejection and an Invitation
Rejections are just opportunities to ask for constructive criticism and market your piece elsewhere. Don’t be discouraged if you’re turned down; just hone your piece and find another venue. There’s no time in the freelancing world for sulking.
5. Find Fun
When you can, write about things you love and topics on which you have a strong voice. You will always write best about the things that matter most, so don’t be afraid to embrace your passions. Freelancing is slow going, but even if the pay is minimal, great reward can be found in your joy.