It’s been almost seven months since I decided I wanted to try and pursue freelance writing full-time. I wanted, no needed to be self-employed and take a break from working yet another waitressing job. Not that there’s anything wrong with serving, but I was thoroughly burnt out and needed to find something that would pay off those pesky loans and give me a little more breathing room.
Cut to now, where only a few weeks ago I felt like I was spinning in a dryer set on permanent press with no prospects, no escape from the crippling debt, and only offers to write for free. It turns out as much as I thought I knew everything, with the books I read and the published clips I was getting, I did not. However, sometimes we need to make mistakes, sometimes we have to let the ground be fallow (more on that to come). It wasn’t until everything sort of fell apart for me that I finally saw some progress.
And mistakes come with their own benefits if you allow yourself to learn from them, and even better if others can learn from your mistakes instead of having to make the same ones themselves. So If you would rather not repeat my mistakes here’s a list of what I think are the essential freelance to do’s:
Learn from my mistakes, don’t do what I did and don’t listen to those Facebook and YouTube ads with smiling people who promise big bucks working from the comfort of their island paradise home or next to their condo pool in flip flops.
People can make a living being self-employed but it’s not magic. There’s no six-figure income yet, (at least not for this girl) and it’s work like any other job.
I know, boo. You wanted to hear about how amazing and successful I’ve become.
Well, I’m not a scam artist and I’m just telling you my honest experiences, a lot of which have been downright awful.
That said, I have gotten work, I have been published, I’ve had articles published in a national magazine and a large newspaper, and gotten to write about things I love and things I have absolutely no understanding of, so the progress is slow but progressing all the same.