What does freelancing mean to you? If you are a photographer, it means selling your photos to companies who will pay for them. Writers who freelance do the same thing, but with their literary skills. Freelancers do not work for any one company or boss. They are their own bosses. This can be frightening, not knowing who you work for from one day to the next. It can also be liberating, being in charge of how much you will earn and how to go about it.

Creativity And Freelancing: Mutually Exclusive?

FreelancingSome people would say that it is impossible to be creative and make money as a freelancer. This is true for many people. They find themselves working so many hours for the money they make that the hourly rate is embarrassingly low. Writing they are hired to do which pays anything is often boring and repetitive, or they are hired to ghost write. Anything they write which is even remotely interesting or literary does not belong to them anyway, but it pays the bills and they can write 16 hours a day if they want. Plenty of companies are looking for ghost writers.

Approaches To Freelancing

There are several ways to approach freelance writing. One is to hire your self out as a ghost writer to one or several firms. They will send out multiple jobs daily or weekly, or they post jobs for writers to choose. A word limit is assigned to each assignment. These assignments could be for roofing companies, tourism, or church fundraisers, and there will be key words to insert. Creative liberty is minimal since the topics are not conducive to creativity. This can be depressing for someone who wants to write poetry and short stories but knows this will not buy milk and bread.

Creative Writing

Money BalanceCreative writers do make money, but their chances are lower. They sell their work to magazines, book publishers, and websites. Their names are attached to their work, but this is only small consolation considering the cheques they receive. The difficulties of finding success this way are many:

• Lots of people are competing for a few spots
• Publication is only weekly, monthly, or quarterly
• Just a few items will be picked
• It takes weeks or months to hear if you are rejected or accepted
• If you make it to the next editorial round table, you could still be rejected
• Once you are accepted, you might have to wait months for publication
• Payment is often only made following publication

To make this job work, you have to churn out page upon page of poetry, short stories, essays, and other written works. You must be disciplined, sitting down at the same time every morning for a set period of time. Only the lucky few are able to create ongoing relationships with editors.

Keep looking at the web or get a book (from the library or book store) listing publishers which print the types of writing you enjoy. It could be fantasy, book reviews, children’s literature, or writing about nature. Narrow your list of potential publishers by doing your research carefully. Nothing irritates an editor more than receiving a submission which is clearly inappropriate.

Varying this work can include writing book reviews or working as an editor for other creative writers. Other freelance writing jobs include writing grant proposals, resumes, and website content.

Pros and Cons

As noted above, there is a mixture of good and bad in the freelancing world. If you sell photos, you do not have control of where they will end up. The worldwide web makes it difficult to prevent plagiarism, even though it is still illegal, but if you have relinquished any title to your works you have no control anyway.

Freelancing is varied, however. To maintain a steady flow of work, you have to have an eye on job boards and also take an interest in many different media. This is where your leads will come from as well as some long and short term work opportunities. Although your creative work makes little or no money, you can still do this on the side and pay the bills during work hours.

You set your own work hours, which is especially good if your domestic commitments are intense. Write around baby’s nap time, kids’ school hours, or times when you have to care for elderly relatives. Avoid the costs of transportation to and from work. Forget hiring a nanny or sending your child to a daycare. Work as early as you like or as late as you like: someone in an office somewhere in the world is looking at resumes and submissions all the time.

The trouble is your work will be among the piles of work on someone’s desk. What will distinguish your photographs, poetry, or editorials from someone else’s? A freelancer often has something which limited writers do not have: experience. You can put this on your resume and it matters. Editors know that you have paid your dues and are willing to work hard. You meet tight deadlines and are self-disciplined. This means a lot in the artistic world.


Image By: Free Digital Photos (Salvatore Vuono & Idea go)

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