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What are the thrills and frills of the freelance writing profession? What does it take to become a freelance writer, in terms of education?
There's all kinds of thrills and frills! A lot depends on your personality. If you like comfort and security then it's probably not the best route. If you like living on the edge it's quite good. For one thing, even though it's a misnomer to say, "you're your own boss," you don't have some angry lug hanging around all the time, monitoring what you do. The pressure is all in the interface you have with the market. So, you have to be market-savvy. That means know the writing marketplace, study publications, know how to communicate with editors, know how to be professional, etc.
It takes a while to get some traction in the area. You need education in writing, editing, researching, interviewing. So, journaism or communications with English thrown in is a good background. A good class in photography is pretty necessary. And get excellent computer skills.
At this stage of the game your best bet is to find out everything you can about the magazine and online marketplace and how to reach it with your writing. Take some time to figure out what you like to write, what subjects have passion for you.
It's a fairly aggressive profession that entails enormous amounts of time being alone, working alone. So, you need self-disipline.
One of the thrills is that when you get some traction you can start to go places and meet people you never would otherwise. Freelance writing is a way to open many doors, especially when you're a young guy.
It's just not for the faint of heart. Which means, dealing with the times when no assignments are forthcoming but the bills are.
Good luck in your pursuits. Don't give up.
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