freelance writing

Should You Be a Writer?

I’ve been writing online for over 7 years now which means I’ve been through the ups and downs a few times. With the economy being so lousy in the US, there seems to be a drastic increase in people applying for writing jobs, but sometimes you have to wonder why they’re doing it.

I think there are a few misconceptions about writers, which I’d like to address.

Freelance writers work whenever they want

Yes, to a certain extent this is true, but you still have deadlines and many of the current jobs out there are insisting on pretty short deadlines! If you can’t turn out 10 articles in three days, you’re going to have trouble.

Freelance writers get paid a LOT

Um, no. There are some people out there who apparently earn $100+ per article, but the vast majority of us are working for considerably less. It’s not necessarily bad pay, but you aren’t going to become a millionaire a week after starting your writing career. If you want to earn the big bucks, you’ll need to focus on something like tech writing or copywriting. A writer who can turn out a great sales page can earn thousands.

There are gazillions of jobs for writers

Not these days. The vast majority of jobs I see are for very low prices, which is fine if you’re starting or are willing to work for very little, but it’s pretty tough to find a legit, high paying job these days. And, there’s the competition. Several times, I’ve gone into Elance and similar bidding sites and found that someone looking for 500 articles is being told that someone can do them for fifty cents a pop. I can’t compete with that!

Finding quality jobs is going to take a bit more work. Ok, a LOT more work these days.

Anyone can be a writer

Yes, anyone can write. The question is, can you sell your writing? You have to have a good grasp of the English language and know how to use your spellchecker. But you also have to know how to present yourself in order to sell that writing.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a writer. It means you need to take an honest look at what it means to write for a living. Chances are you’ll be spending long hours trying to hit your deadlines or looking for work. You won’t become a millionaire overnight, either. However, for those who fit the writing life, it’s a very good way to go.

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