Is Freelance Writing the Right Career for You? Here’s How to Tell

I was doing some web surfing last night and ran across this post, which answers a common question I receive all the time. This freelance writer wrote:

About once a month a friend, colleague or stranger will ask me the very same question: “I have been wanting to take my writing to the next stage. How did you get started in freelance writing?“.

Sometimes I’m tempted to say, “Just start.” How do you train for a marathon or big climb? You start running, you start climbing. But I know it isn’t that straight-forward.

And she’s right, it’s not that straightforward, which is why I don’t answer right away (Meghan gives some great advice in that post — 15 solid tips — about how to get started as a freelance writer by the way).

As I live abroad, people seem to be doubly curious. In case you’re a new reader, I’m American, but currently live and work from Jamaica.

Common Questions I’m Asked about How to Become a Freelance Writer

So once they know this, curiosity goes through the roof and the rapid-fire questions start, eg:

Is Becoming a Freelance Writer Right for Me?How can you travel and still make a living?

How did you get started?

How long have you been doing this?

What type of stuff do you write?

Can I do it too?

Where can I find your book (many automatically assume that if you’re a writer, you must have published a book)?

How do I get started as a freelance writer?

How much do you make/earn (yeah, some people are bold!)?

And on and on and on.

Is Becoming a Freelance Writer Right for You?

While I LOVE being a freelance writer and it definitely works for me, I’ve stopped diving into giving advice and started answering that question by asking the person to ask themselves the following:

“Is this really a good career choice for me?”

The Challenging Side of Being a Freelance Writer

People only look at the so-called glamorous side of being a freelance writer, but it’s not without its challenges. Following are a few that come immediately to mind.

1. Working when you want: I work a lot more hours than I did at any traditional job I ever had;

2. Sleeping as late as you want: I’m not a morning person, so don’t punch a clock, but many nights find me up late working. Yeah, I’m able to work more with my body clock by not having to punch in at a certain time, but I still have to put in the hours to meet deadlines and make a good living; and

3. Traveling at will: This is a nice perk, no doubt. If I have an internet connection and some juice on my laptop battery, I’m good to go. But, there are challenges, like common power outages when you’re in a third world country that has a storm and you have a looming deadline — and there’s no telling when the power will be back on.

4. Writing what you love: There are plenty of times I’m writing about stuff I really have zero interest in. But, it’s my client’s bread and butter. It’s their passion. So I have to make it my passion too — at least while I’m working on it.

So freelance writing has its challenges, even though I can’t even begin to fathom doing anything else. But is it for you?

I put together a little freelance writer assessment test that’ll give you a good idea. If you do come to the conclusion that this is indeed the right career for you, you won’t be able to imagine doing anything else.

Good luck if you decide to dive in.

Next Post: Writing a Book: Lessons I Learned as a Self-Published Author Writing for a Traditional Publisher

P.S.: Gain More Insight in the Freelance Writer’s Assessment Test Ebook

I’ve been a freelancer since 1993 and there are just certain traits that spell success; they’re evergreen to the mix of being a successful freelancer –- of any kind.

So if you’ve ever wondered how to become a freelance writer, or wondered if you have what it takes to succeed in this discipline, this detailed assessment test will give you some great insight.

I’m a serial entrepreneur, and let me tell ya, there are some businesses I never would have started had I gotten some detailed insight — like this test provides — beforehand.

P.P.S.: Here’s How to Get Started as a Freelance Online Writer — TODAY!

This type of writing changed the course of my freelance writing career, giving me the freedom to travel, pay off debt, and build other streams of income (ie, self-publishing and internet marketing). It can do the same for you.

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    1. I get those common questions a lot too. My answer is pretty much the same: I’ve always loved writing, so I proactively followed that passion, hustled to find clients, and improved my craft.

      I can also relate to most of the challenges that you mentioned. I guess the one thing I don’t completely agree with is the part on writing about topics I’m not interested in.

      While I *used* to do this, overtime I’ve learned to be more picky and only go after clients and projects I genuinely like. I just makes my job easier and more fun. 🙂
      Francesca Nicasio recently posted…5 Ways to Supercharge Business-Centric Content with StoriesMy Profile

      • Thanks for sharing Francesca. Follow your passion — a common theme when it comes to writers.

        I actually just fell into it; never had a “great love” for it, but love the life having the skill allows me to lead, and am lucky enough to be good at it.

        As for writing on subjects I don’t enjoy — I’ve tried to get away from that, but when a favorite client contacts with a project, I remind myself how lucky I am to do what I do for a living (and how long they’ve stuck with me), and I dig in and get the work done. And usually, I learn something, which makes playing Jeopardy with friends a pain for them — and a ton of fun for me! 🙂 Trivia – freelance writing is THE career for learning odd stuff u never think you’re gonna actually use.

        Again, thanks for dropping by, and continued success.