As 2011 dawns, I mark five years as a full-time freelance writer. I feel intensely grateful to have spent these five years in control of my schedule and enjoying a variety of challenging and fun writing assignments. I love the freelance life.
Through the years of hacking my way through the freelance jungle, and mentoring other writers looking to earn a living, I’ve developed a philosophy.
I think there’s a mentality you need to succeed as a freelance writer. A belief system that helps you rise above the doubt, insecurity, and fears of starvation. It enables you to scratch out a living with just your ideas and your words, month after month.
This is the creed I live by. It’s helped me to earn more each year I’ve been a freelance writer.
This is my freelance writer’s manifesto:
- As a freelance writer, I work hard. I deserve to earn a decent hourly rate.
- I won’t let self-doubt hold me back from finding good-paying markets.
- When I send out resumes or query letters, I won’t get discouraged or feel personally rejected. I will persevere.
- I know I have the power to advance my writing career.
- I will set goals for my writing business and take steps to meet them.
- If I need more work, I will market my writing services more aggressively.
- I will not use the economy as an excuse for not earning.
- Even though it may not come easily to me, I can master new technology.
- I will keep an open mind toward emerging types of writing.
- If I encounter an aspect of the new-media world I don’t understand, I will learn about it.
- I won’t waste my energy worrying about the recent proliferation of low-paying online writing markets.
- I will actively participate in writer communities for camaraderie and support. We can help each other succeed.
- It’s important as a freelancer to remember that I’m free. If the sun’s shining, maybe I’ll walk the dog in the middle of the day. I’ll take a few minutes to experience gratitude that I’m no longer trapped in a world of offices and set schedules.
- I will give back to the writing community and share what I learn.
What’s your philosophy of freelance writing? Tell us about the beliefs that guide your writing career in the comments.
Photo via Flickr user Dmitry Kichenko