5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Freelance Writer

When I first started freelancing, I was a wide-eyed 25-year old with the world at my feet. Women wanted me, men wanted to be like me and every night ended with fish and chips down by the pier (no naan).

“Damn this is easy”, I thought as I cashed the cheque from my 8th assignment in as many weeks. “I can do this all day.”

Nearly a decade later, it turns out my dream career might have more than its fair share of pitfalls. In fact, I might even dare to say that I’m not even sure if it’s a dream job anymore (gasp!).

Freelancing can sometimes be a tough gig. You have to be your own boss, keep up with deadlines, and find good, consistent work. As a freelance writer, I get asked this question all the time: “What do you wish you knew before becoming a freelance writer?” The truth is that it’s hard to answer because we’re all at different stages in our careers. However, if I had known what to expect when I first became self-employed, I would have made a lot fewer mistakes. Here are some of the most important things I wish I knew when I started out.

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The Unofficial Freelance Writer’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination

I used to have a blackbelt in procrastination when I first began my freelance writing career.

I’d often find myself having to write more than 1,000 words in the last few hours of a deadline. In fact, I strongly suspect that cramming all of our work into a few hours is the primary source of burnout in our field. Do you ever get that sick feeling when you remember you reaaaalllyy need to work on something due tomorrow? That’s what happens when I procrastinate, and once upon a time, it seemed inevitable.

I got together with my peers and we started sharing what we’ve learned about overcoming procrastination in order to help more freelancers in our field to overcome this problem once and for all! We’ve compiled tips throughout the years that we feel confident applying to any assignment (and life!) and I’m excited to share them with you. Here are my tips for overcoming procrastination that I personally used to create a healthy work/life balance once and for all:

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The 15 Minute Exercise That Will Help You Overcome Procrastination and Writer’s Block

Let me know if this sounds familiar: you wake up bright and early in the morning, full of energy and ready to take on your day. You finish your morning routine and are ready to take on the world. You finally open up your word processor and….. suddenly your enthusiasm starts disappearing like snow in the sun.

What’s the problem?

As a writer, I know that there are few things scarier than a blank page in a new document. It’s can be a dauting task to figure out how to start. How should I start the article? What will really draw my readers in? I don’t know anything about this subject…where do I even begin?

Does your story always sound fun in your head before you start writing it down and read it back? I get it. I’ve been there. Relax and take a deep breath. There’s a little trick I use every morning to help fire up those content spewing neurons. I call it 15 Minutes To Ignition.

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Beyond The Business Card: 7 Unique Tips That Will Make You an In-Demand Freelance Writer

WARNING: The following tips may create so much work for you, you might find yourself dealing with a surplus of ever growing work. If this list was a recipe for a cocktail, I’d give you the following advice: dilute heavily with water and sip slowly. As an independent writer for four years, I’m almost never short on work. I usually have a different problem entirely; I sometimes have too many assignments going on concurrently.

Last year, I almost collapsed from the pressure. I barely slept. Sometimes, even when I had time to sleep, my brain wasn’t able to “turn off” and relax enough for me to enjoy my break.

In fact, the pressure that rises from having too many deadlines can be mentally, physically and emotionally taxing. Use these tips at your own discretion and always make sure you have some “decompression” time for your family and yourself. Always remember that when you’re running a business, it’s okay to take some time off. No, the world isn’t going to collapse when you do, I promise :).

Enjoy The Journey, Not The Destination

Before I begin, I think it’s important for me to remind you to enjoy your first steps along the writer’s path. Writing is fun; no really, it is. Freelance writing is especially rewarding because I can set my own hours and travel almost anywhere in the world while still making a very good living. If done correctly, this career can give you the freedom and flexibility many only dream about while slaving away in corporate jobs.

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What exactly is a Freelance Writer?

To put it simply, freelance/independent writers are people who have chosen a very precarious but emotionally and intellectually rewarding profession: we create great content on a daily basis to put food on our tables. However, unlike writers and editors with permanent positions in companies or organizations, a freelance writer works for numerous clients that he/she acquires through various networking activities.

Sounds simple, huh? No, it really isn’t. While we can dictate our hours, workload, how many bathroom breaks we take, whether or not to indulge in any psychoactive substances while we work, and other perks, we still have the enormous burden of being business owners. That means that even though nobody is breathing down our necks to perform (unless we are dealing with an especially colorful client), it’s entirely up to us to find the motivation needed to pursue this career. Additionally, we also have the challenge of maintaining a steady flow of work. It’s not as glamorous as the movies portray it to be (are there actually any movies about freelance writers out there?) but it’s honest work that can truly result in personally fulfilling occupation.

Independence Creates Flexibility

Copywriting work can vary greatly from project to project. Our assignments range from writing books to providing text contributions for printed and online media. It may involve making journalistic reports or taking care of all kinds of PR and communication activities.

Compared to employed writers, freelance authors enjoy much more freedom in their work. As mentioned above, of course, a freelancer has to deal with less job security. Surprisingly, despite the potential drawbacks

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