1. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154

    Freelance Planning to start freelance writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheApprentice, Feb 13, 2014.

    Problem is though, I am not sure where I will start. I have never written for money before, and have written few short stories that weren't for school.

    I am not planning to try doing this tomorrow, and want to post a few short stories here first to get feedback and hone my writing skills. I was just wondering, what kind of jobs I will start out with.
     
    Fjane411 likes this.
  2. violinguy
    Offline

    violinguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm not a professional writer, and there are sure to be several folks here who will give more informed advice. That said, expect your journey to be a long one. I know you said "not tomorrow," and that is good realistic thinking on your part. Most freelance writers that I know of, started by being published here or there gratis or for peanuts simply to "get published." Then, on the basis of their resume, they get freelance work for this or that publication. A reputation is built on good writing and the ability to meet deadlines. Then more work follows.

    This process is one of years instead of weeks. Decades instead of years. Etc. Now, I've not read your writing, and I don't doubt you are serious and possess the skills necessary for this undertaking. Just so we're clear, this will be a marathon and not a sprint.

    And, FYI, this should not be the only place you get input on your work. A message board (albeit a good one) is not the place on which to pin your hopes. Sorry to sound a little negative. I just want to start with a bit of reality and let you know what to expect. Being a freelance musician is much the same process. Do good work and build a reputation and more work follows. Best of luck to you!

    VG:)
     
    Fjane411 likes this.
  3. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Are you talking about only publishing fiction, or are you also considering publishing articles?
     
  4. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    I would like to publish fiction, but I will probably find mostly jobs for factual articles and non-fiction.
     
  5. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    Making a living from publishing only fiction is very, very hard. Writing articles is probably the better route to take. I know there are several sites for freelancers out there. In fact, I know a guy who uses one such site (don't remember the name, though). He makes a good living and only works 4-5 hours a day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    Fjane411 likes this.
  6. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    Hey man, I will do it. One hour of work, no serving the public, and no boss harassing me ans making stupid rules? Sounds good to me.
     
  7. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    So should I have a blog to show potential clients? Or can I just show them any online work?
     
  8. Passero
    Offline

    Passero Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    London
    A blog definitely helps.
    I started out with a blog and wrote articles on a weekly base. It was about a specific topic, a niche in the IT world but in the end I was contacted by a publisher who asked me to write a book about the topic.

    It definitely gives you some exposure but than again, it also requires an effort to promote your blog which can take as much time as writing articles...
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    dream on!

    you will be serving the portion of 'the public' meant to read what you write and will be harassed by 'the boss' [your clients] who will be making stupid rules you have to follow, if you want to get paid...
     
  10. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    *Shrug* Long as I don't have to walk 4 miles in the scorching sun to work some cash register with bitchy customers coming in droves to make complicated food orders and complain that the food is too expensive, I'm fine with it.
     
    Fjane411 likes this.
  11. Fjane411
    Offline

    Fjane411 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I've found that a lot of the website claiming to have freelancing jobs are looking for technical writers and not for creative writers. It is hard jumping into freelance writing. I would love to find out what works for you and if you've found any good websites for creative writers.
    The writing industry is very hard to get into...
     
  12. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    I meant to say 4-5 hours in my original post (I fixed the mistake). He definitely works more than 1 hour. My bad. :oops:
     
  13. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    Well, I am trying for writersdomain and textbroker right now, but something is up with my paypal account. Sure, these will make me little money, but everyone starts somewhere, and I hate dealing with the general public directly.
     
  14. rasmanisar
    Offline

    rasmanisar Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    29
    Everyone else seems to have reinforced the 'it'll be hard work' message, so I'll go for the positive - work hard and keep trying! It's no more ludicrous than my dream of being a sponsored rock climber.
     
  15. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    BTW, has anyone ever written for ghostblogger.net? I am trying to start writing articles for it, but all I see is how to buy articles or search for articles. How do I upload articles to put up for sale?
     
  16. JayG
    Offline

    JayG Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Well, the first question, is what skills you bring to the table that everyone else doesn't? Do you have a knowledge of the marketplace you're hoping to write for? Are you especially knowledgeable in some technology or profession? You can't write an article about nursing, after all, if you have no background in the field.

    Next comes: do you have a good understanding of the techniques and norms of the journalistic writing techniques used on nonfiction writing, and the market you're aiming for?

    What I'm getting it is the basic question of it you're prepared to write as a professional in a profession that's as difficult to master as any other.

    Michail Seidman, when he was the editor and chief of Walker's crime fiction department, once had a college student write telling him that he wanted to write fiction as a summer job, and would be glad to write for him if he would tell that student what kind of stories he wanted to see.

    Not having seen an example of your prose I can't make any judgment on where you stand vis-a-vis selling your work, but your attitude seems to be that you're seeking to know where you stand, and hoping that you're ready, not seeking how best to prepare yourself to be a professional. You should know going in that the average writer creates and puts aside a half million words or ore before they successfully market their work. You need to be aware, too, that the publishers have plenty of "just as good as" writers. They're looking for the exceptional. And for every novel they take by a new writer they reject more then a thousand. When it comes to nonfiction the situation isn't much better. So the better prepared, and knowledgeable, you are the better the chances of success.
     
  17. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    Well, I haven't exactly taken any college courses yet in any technology or profession, but I can write, fiction or non-fiction. And I can research. I'm sure if I do research on the art of writing articles then I can figure out how to best make it professional.

    I know I will probably start out writing for peanuts, but everyone starts somewhere.
     
  18. criticalsexualmass
    Offline

    criticalsexualmass Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Let me cut through all the crap. There are plenty of others who post the same questions, and there's never a good answer. We don't know you and we don't know if you have the chops. There's no one answer but here's the formula I've used:

    1) Get published. It doesn't matter if you have been paid or not. It doesn't matter if it's fiction or not. A resume that states "I've been published in Fumblebuckery Times for 6 articles on how to properly milk a minx" is better than a blank resume.

    2) Once you have something for publishing credits on the resume, start targeting specific small publications and entering contests. Keep your standards low or you will wash out on rejection and dejection. Learn what these guys need. Take your $200 paycheck and smile, knowing that another spoonful of dirt just got removed from the prison wall.

    3) Find your niche. We all have one. I wanted to be in regular commercial fiction and recently found that my science fiction ideas were the only thing i could sell. I'm still working on what i want to be while i sell the little things that can make me say "Yea, people actually pay for my stuff." Once you have gotten to this stage, try to build a relationship or 30 with others in that niche. Journal editors, blog hosts, even daily internet fiction sites. For every person you build a relationship with, a door is opened.

    Work up from there. The reality is that during this entire time(years), you had better be writing your ass off. And learning. I'm struggling with everything i do, writing on the side with a legal career, a family and running a farm. I can't make writing THE priority. But I can make it A priority. I'm not good. But I still on occasion get paid for my writing. And that keeps my fingers on the keys, because if somebody will pay me for what i love i should be doing what i love
     
    WeWill77 and TheApprentice like this.
  19. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    Thank you for the advice. It will be helpful as I'm trying to eventually work from home.

    Just wondering though, ever heard of textbroker or ghostblogger, and what are your thoughts?
     
  20. SuperVenom
    Offline

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    South Wales
    Been thete dude
     
  21. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    Finally, someone who understands.
     
  22. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,727
    Likes Received:
    4,824
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I like this.
     
    GoldenGhost likes this.
  23. JayG
    Offline

    JayG Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    So can anyone who passes fifth grade. But your competition—at least those who matter, are writing in a field they know intimately, be that a profession or fiction. How can you write an article about medicine for Modern Health magazine if you don't know either the field, the magazine, or the tricks of the article writer's trade?

    If it was easy...if it's something our schooling prepared us to do we would all, every one of us, be selling our work. We're all sincerely trying our best, and we're all working hard to write as well as we can. But only one in a thousand submissions in fiction is accepted, and that's not because it's a lottery. Out of every 100 submissions the ones evaluating them view all but three as amateur writing. So if your knowledge of what that editor is looking for, and how to provide it, doesn't match those three, you're not even in the running. And the nonfiction areas of specialization are just as difficult to break into. It takes dedication, perseverance, mentoring, study, and lots and lots of practice.
     
  24. TheApprentice
    Offline

    TheApprentice Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    154
    JayG, all this I am fine with. I will practice and improve myself every day, until I can be a successful freelance writer.

    Right now, I am looking at websites for beginners such as textbroker, ghostblogger, and many others so that maybe I can make money doing what I enjoy and maybe avoid waiting tables.
     
  25. Okon
    Offline

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    389

    Just humble advice, but I think the 'don't quit your day job' bit applies here. Even a part-time job is a great way to clear the mind and not end up guano crazy;).
     
    WeWill77 likes this.

Share This Page