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When it comes to people wanting to establish a more independent working arrangement, particularly if they absolutely need the more flexible schedule that tends to come from such an arrangement, as working-from-home moms typically do — freelance writing is one of the most commonly suggested lines of work to get into.
It makes sense, too. If you know how to write — and if you’ve got a knack for grammatical accuracy, and have some sense of how to weave a good story together — why not get paid to do it, either part or full-time?
Working out the nuances of first home buyers house and land packages might be tricky, but putting together some catchy quotes for someone’s website should be child’s play.
Beware of such lines of thought. There are many benefits to getting into freelance writing, for those who have the right temperament, but it’s no walk in the park.
Before you commit to becoming a freelance writer, consider these hard lessons.
It’s no get-rich-quick scheme
People sometimes approach freelance writing as if it were a get-rich-quick scheme, some kind of occasional evening activity which might yield a full-time income within the space of a few weeks.
Unfortunately, freelance writing is no such thing. In reality, it’s a very competitive industry, where the most lucrative job roles are often not even advertised, and where those which are advertised will typically have pretty stringent selection protocols in place, including reference to past work.
While it may be possible for you to get lucky and land a few great clients at the beginning of your freelance writing career, the odds are that it will take you a good while to build up your portfolio, develop your skill set, and land the lucrative clients.
It is, in other words, a job.
People will take advantage of you if you let them, develop a keen sense of self-protection
In conventional in-house jobs, you will be protected from professional mistreatment by various regulations and contractual guarantees.
As a freelance writer, on the other hand, you work on the equivalent of a zero-hour contract, without health insurance, and without paid sick leave. If you miss a day of work, you miss a day’s pay.
While it’s possible to find clients who will offer you better terms than this, these are usually going to want you to become a staff member rather than a freelancer.
Keep in mind — work on the low-end of the freelance market is also typically priced for at third-world rates. You have to be on the lookout for lucrative rates constantly and must learn to dodge any clients who are likely to take advantage. Get everything in writing before agreeing to do any work.
The freedom of the lifestyle can crush you if you don’t get your ducks lined up
The entire reason why people are drawn to freelance writing when all is said and done is the freedom that the lifestyle offers. You can work at irregular hours, can pop out to the shop or take a nap in the middle of the day, and more.
But that freedom has the potential to ruin you if you don’t have, or rapidly get, your ducks lined up perfectly.
If you’re undisciplined and prone to procrastination, a three-hour assignment can easily stretch to take up the whole day, and rob you of your time spent with your family.
The lines separating work and life can easily blur in such a situation, and you can find yourself constantly stressed, racing to meet every deadline.Get yourself properly organised and disciplined, with productive habits in place, if you plan to become a freelance writer.