Are you thinking of becoming a freelance writer? You’re about to be bombarded with tons of questions and concerns from people around you that will make you doubt yourself and your decision to write as a freelancer.
Read on to bust the most common myths about freelance writing:
You DO NOT need years of experience as a journalist
This is the most common myth which keeps writers away from freelancing. You do not need a work experience of many years to become a freelance writer. You can start with writing your own blog and then gradually transition into full-time freelancing. It’s your opinions, knowledge and storytelling skills that are of more importance than the number of years that you have worked.
You definitely do not need a journalism degree to write. You can be an expert in whatever field you prefer and be a freelance writer on that topic. It is again the narrative skills and quality of work that matters the most.
You DO NOT have to be perfect in spelling and grammar
As a freelance writer, you are anticipated to have exceptional skills in language and perfect grammatical sense. Some degree of grammatical sense is necessary but you don’t have to be perfect. Freelance writing is all about producing the best quality of work with a good narrative and story sense.
Your writing needs to be well-researched, well structured, engaging and interesting. The rest can be taken care of by writing tools that are there to help you with spellings and grammar. Microsoft Word and Google will help you with the spellings and Grammarly does a great job at fixing grammar and editorial inconsistencies. However, always proofread your work before running it through these tools.
You will NOT always write what you want
When you start your career as a freelance writer, you think that you will have the liberty to choose the topic and pick the project you want. You might even manage to do it for a short while, but over time it is an ineffective system. As a freelance writer, you need to think about a lot of things like planning your finances and making sure that you have at least one project to work at a time.
You cannot always be over-picky with projects, especially as you try to maintain a balance with your workload and finances. There will be projects that you will have to take up simply because you need the money and a task to do at that time. There will also be times when you might take up something because it will upgrade your skills and teach you something new.
You will have some level of freedom to work on the topic of your interest when you’re not working for a client. You may finish an assignment before time and choose to write a blog or the book that you’ve been thinking about for a while. Unlike a regular job, you won’t be pushed into new things as soon as you finish one. Freelancing will provide you with opportunities and time to write about your interest and passion. Make sure to grab these opportunities. Be well prepared that you will not always get to write what you want and that you will have to plan it out.
You are NOT the boss
The worst part of being an employee is dealing with ‘the boss’ in the office who repetitively instructs you about work and overburdens you with tasks. No one wants to be constantly bothered while working. You might think that freelancing would do away with this and you wouldn’t have be answerable to anyone. Sadly, this is not true.
Clients can be as troublesome as bosses, if not then even worse. You still have to please clients as a freelance writer. They will demand from you what they want. They will have you make changes at the last moment, or at times, even cancel the project. Being a freelance writer does not make you ‘the boss’. You will love your work, but you’re still not the one in power right as you start away. It will take a few years to get the expertise and build a reputation that will provide you with the credibility to choose.
You DO NOT have free time
Freelance writing is indeed not a 9-5 job. It is much more than that. If you are under the assumption that you will have lots of time for yourself, to travel and to do everything that you want, then you are absolutely wrong.
Contrary to a full-time job where you have a fixed number of hours to work and only so many to complete in that time, freelancing comes with a totally different lifestyle. Most of your time is spent on writing, but you must keep yourself on toes rest of time and look for better projects in order to earn well. Technically, you are never ‘not working’.
Although, you do have more control over how you spend your time within the day. You get to pick the time of your work according to your convenience. As there is no rigidity of timings, you can choose to attend a family function during the day and work late at night or on the next day. You just need to be aware of your responsibilities and prepared to take time out for yourself.
Freelance writing is not an easy profession. It comes with myths that shouldn’t scare you away from opting the lifestyle. The issues can be fixed, especially now that you are aware of a few of them. Freelancing offers you the freedom work that you love which is the most important factor to be considered while deciding to freelance.