Okay! First thing, you cannot get down to being a freelance writer, just because you anything else could not pan out for you. The reason is pretty simple – it does take talent and dedication, and if you lack in either of these, I don't see how you can last long in this profession. There is a journey that you will have to make, odds that you will have to surmount, certain compromises that you will need to make on the way, lessons that you will learn as you commit mistakes and achieve goals. But, when you are there, you may never have to look back. And, the journey itself will be fulfilling. I have been a teacher most my professional life, and my career as a freelance writer is pretty tiny as compared to my previous profession. But, I too had one fine day when I set on this journey. So, here I do endeavor to summarize the journey that any such aspirant who needs to go freelancing will and should go on.
- Chapter 1 – Setting on the Journey
So, goes without saying that you will have to make a start. But there are more ways than one to do that. If you have been working full-time, as a writer, or as an accountant, or as anything under the sun for that matter (writing has nothing to do with what you do to earn your bread), it is a really bad idea to quit and go fully freelancing, UNLESS, you have been doing some freelance jobs along with your regular work. Nevertheless, if it is your first attempt at any work, so be it – go full-time, and direct all your energy towards it. It may, at times, seem too lazy a job for you can do it in your pajamas, but well, that is how we roll.
- Chapter 2 – Camping is Not Really an Option
So, you did start off with is, but all you can see is tiny success as procuring work? You may have felt before that you are going to be your own boss, but it turns out that nothing much is happening in the scene. Pretty much a common sight. What do you do then? Leave it aside for a while and go on a holiday? Nope! You stay put. Hanging your shoes and camping is not an option. You may make small weekend halts, but that is that. Keep going; keep looking for jobs on freelance websites; keeps in touch with your old work contacts; remind them (don't pester them though) that you are available for work. This is how slowly, yet steadily, you will set the ball rolling.
- Chapter 3 – Improvising on the Map
Yes, improvise on your road map. We usually start from simple things, small gigs, plain pieces of writing – essays, blogs, articles, short descriptions and the like. But, you must improvise now; move into directions; see where your interest lies – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, technical writing (it could be whatever interests you) – because now you do get to make a choice.
- Chapter 4 – Reaching the Destination
Once you start feeling that you have learned at least 60-70% more skill and improvement in the process than what you had started with, you feel satisfied with the quality and quantity of your work, and you feel that you have more than broken even financially, that is where you must consider that you have reached your destination. Now, you don't look for work; the work looks for you.
- Chapter 5 – The Wanderlust Continues
But stop we mustn't. Being comfortable in a profession can actually be a bane in disguise. Why, you ask? It stops you from progressing and making yourself better by the day. Unless you let your wanderlust take over and let yourself to go beyond freelance writing jobs online, you are so very likely to stop making any progress with time. The only way to stay in the profession is to keep honing your skill.
I hope you have a great journey ahead!