Freelance writing is for a type of personality that can take on risk, work with a
variety of people,
market him or herself, and still pursue their aim as writers. It's not for every writer. The contract writer is engaged in the marketplace and writes for it.
Some freelancers prefer to be called contract writers because they do independently
contract out their talents.
Freelancing has little to do with your education degrees and a lot to do
with your ability to persevere and continually market your talents.
Freelancing is a constant battle to market your material.
The tools to do this include market books, query letters,
schedules and forms that tell you what material is out,
to whom, and for how long. It's no different than any other
business that must continually sell itself and its product
to interested buyers. It's a competitive marketplace.
Eventually you learn to market the same material to
different buyers, learn how to get repeat business, learn
how to find the higher range of paying markets, and how
to estimate your earnings and build toward that goal.
Talk with any freelancer and they will tell you they
have written every conceivable type of writing for every
type of publication, and even, different sections and
departments of the same publication.
But, eventually, they specialize and develop many slants for the same specialty.
Editors are ravenous for new and exciting material.
Do the research, the interviewing, the fact-checking,
the writing, and the negotiating well and you will be
an excellent freelance writer.
We recommend "Writing Freelance" by Christine Adamec as an excellent
introduction to what it takes to be a freelancer. Christine has been a
freelance writer for many years and knows her stuff.
Other book recommendations:
Guide to Freelance Writing by ASJA
Handbook of Magazine Article Writing ed. by Jean Fredette
Online Markets for Writers by Anthony and Paul Tedesco
Guide to Freelance Rates & Standard Practice by National Writers Union
2009 Writer's Market
If you have any questions about careers in freelance writing
don't hesitate to ask!
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