Freelance writing is awesome, but it’s definitely not the right move for everyone. How do you know if freelance writing is right for you?
Two typical types attracted to freelance writing
I normally see 2 types of people who want to be freelance writers. There are people who want to get paid to be a writer. There are also people who are looking for work from home, find freelance writing, and think it’ll work for them.
Freelance writing is great for both types IF they have 5 certain traits.
I’m a case study of both types
Before we get to the 5 traits, I want to assure you that neither type of person attracted to freelance writing is better than the other. In fact, I’m a mix of both types!
I’ve always loved writing. I worked on my high school newspaper, and went to college for journalism. I changed my focus a few times during college, from photojournalism to hard news to magazines. Then I applied to grad school for linguistics, since I wasn’t sure what kind of writing I really wanted to do.
But, I only lasted 6 weeks in grad school due to an unexpected life plot twist, a head injury that I got after falling down a flight of stairs.
I lost my words
My head injury affected the part of the brain where language like vocabulary is accessed. I basically forgot the meaning of most words, probably 70% of my mental dictionary. I would look at things like a pencil and I couldn’t come up with the word “pencil.” I couldn’t come up with the word “tire” on my car.
The other thing that was affected was my grammar and language comprehension. It was so difficult as I was a person whose identity was based around language and written communication! I couldn’t read, because I didn’t understand the words, because I couldn’t remember what any of these words meant. It was an identity crisis.
I started taking jobs at nonprofits (one was at a mental health nonprofit) doing program coordination and database management. I got married. And, crucially, I started to read blogs.
I realized people were writing for online clients, and I wanted to do that. I wanted to work from home and I wanted to freelance. By then it was 4 years after my head injury, and I’d recovered enough that I thought I could manage to write from home.
So I figured it out, the long and hard way.
Now, on to the 5 traits both types of people need for freelance writing!
5 traits for freelance writing
1. You don’t hate writing
This will get you through possible challenges. You can love writing, but you can’t be wedded to just a certain kind of writing. You have to be open to trying different kinds–copywriting and writing for the web are very different from academic writing.
If you’re simply committed to a style, subject matter, or even positive feedback, you’ll get burned out.
2. You don’t mind putting yourself out there
Being afraid to market held me back for a looooong time. I didn’t want to be judged, criticized, or stuck. I didn’t really understand marketing.
But when I committed to pitching every day, the fear of rejection gradually went away. Also, I started getting more work.
3. You’re coachable
You’ll advance way better, way faster, if you listen to coaching. You should be willing to adapt your writing style, or the way you see or do things. You should be able to take constructive criticism without lashing out.
When you’re coachable, you’re willing to admit that the way that you do, see, or interpret things might not be the most accurate, effective, or realistic way. That means you’re open to trying other things. And that is how you solve your problems and make progress.
4. You’re flexible
Luckily you don’t necessarily have to be flexible in the yoga way, but you should be with your subject matter, writing format, and the people you work with. If you’re only willing to write about one subject or only write blog posts (not at the very beginning–you can start this way!), you’re limiting yourself.
If you say, “I only want to write about this topic because others are boring,” then good luck paying your bills in the beginning. Later on you can specialize in something, when you are better known and more of an expert, but flexibility after you have learned the basics is a must.
5. You like learning AND applying
In other words, you like researching and writing about subjects. You like learning about writing and doing the writing. And if you like learning and applying, the whole process will be more enjoyable for you.
Do you need more writing clients? If you do, then I challenge you to stop getting ready to get ready and start taking the real action steps that booked-out writers take every single day to find, reach, and impress their ideal clients so that you can finally have the writing career of your dreams.
I encourage you to do so with Booked-Out Writer. It’s my newest course, and has everything you need but nothing you don’t. It’s a course for freelance writers who want to skip the low paying work and start making good money with great clients.
Whether you have five hours a week to devote to this, or you’re ready to go full time, Booked-Out Writer is perfect for establishing yourself as an in-demand go-to writer. Learn more at bookedoutwriter.com!