There are a lot of opinions out there about what freelance writers do. One of the big ones I’ve heard lately is that business writers are selling their soul and writing crap just to fill their bank accounts.
In other words, we’re not ‘real writers’ like novelists. Business writers are just paid copywriting hacks.
Writing for businesses also ruins our writing chops for any ‘meaningful’ personal writing we aspire to, such as poetry, essays, or novel writing.
I used to think like this. For many years, I was a reporter who thought advertising writers were part of the Dark Side of the Force.
By contrast, I was finding facts, revealing truths, enlightening readers with vital news and information they needed. Good stuff!
Then I happened into my first business writing gig, ghosting blog posts for a startup’s CEO, and decided to give it a try. Suddenly, I remembered how my first career as a songwriter went wrong, all because of a similar misconception I had about ‘selling out.’
Here’s what happened…
This is a hard letter to write. But I get letters from you every day, ESL writer, and I feel you deserve an answer.
You email me or hit me on Facebook, from Pakistan, or Kenya, or other points around the globe.
You’re not the rare ESL writer who’s impressively fluent, and whom I only learn from in-depth conversation wasn’t born speaking English.
No, you’re a writer who seems to think you’re fluent in English, but you aren’t. Not even close.
Despite your shaky grasp of English, you’ve fixed on the idea that freelance writing for English-speaking clients is the career for you. And you’re writing me because you want me to help you get paid writing gigs.
I’ve been working to spread hope to writers about the opportunities to earn from their craft for 8 years now. But I’m afraid today, I’m the bearer of bad news.
You probably don’t have the skills to earn a living writing in English. And I want you to encourage you to stop banging your head against this brick wall before you starve.
After over 15 years as a freelance writer, and many more years writing for a living as a staffer, I’ve concluded that I’m weird.
There are things other people hate that I strangely seem to like.
I’m kind of addicted to taking on seemingly impossible assignments, for instance.
That got me thinking about what it takes to be a freelance writer, personality-wise.
I asked my audience on this blog’s Facebook page, too, and got an earful.
If you’re wondering if you could make it as a freelance writer, consider whether you’ve got these 10 useful personality traits for successful freelancing:
Having writer’s block is one of the most terrifying feelings for a creative person — especially when you have a deadline. There’s plenty of advice out there, but what if the normal ideas don’t work to get you writing again?
Well, that’s the part where you go off the reservation and try some of the more, shall we say, unorthodox methods. Today I’m going to show you 10 absurd strategies.
Keep in mind as I write this that I am of sound mind and body. I’ve used these techniques, and they keep me full of awesome blog ideas. Some of these may sound crazy, but they work, I promise!