The World of a Freelance Writer


Oh my goodness- that should be one of the best jobs in the world.

This is something you might hear quite often if you are a freelance writer. I certainly am not talking up this profession, but it is just how it is. Most of the freelance writers think they have one of the best jobs in the world.

Seemingly, a freelance career more so a freelance writer profession does sound pretty cool. You get paid to write on anything under the sun. More so, the pay is higher if you have enough experience under your belt on the topic you are asked to write on. You get to work with different clients from different parts of the world. You get to become your own boss, calling your own shots. You get to strike a good balance between work and life, better than you did at your last 9 to 5 job. You get to meet clients that never cease to amaze you, and you proudly get to call it your profession.

The whole universe thinks of freelance writing as something incredible.

Maybe not.

The reason being that, to put it shortly, the pay is not always handsome, there is not enough work coming in all the time, and there are thousands of freelance writers out there who are all set to do your job for I-can-absolutely-do-this-do-that- free.

That hurts.

What’s true?

Is this really that good a job as it is touted to be? Is it the best? Or is it ridiculously overrated?

Nevertheless, there is absolutely no dearth of interest in people to become a top-notch freelance writer, so I just thought I might give you a tinge of reality about this profession.

It is one of the best jobs in the world. Not quite.

Let us look at the good bits first.

  • As a freelance writer, you get to decide how much is too much. That’s cool. You also decide when you want to work. There is absolutely no trace of office politics involved, and there is no boss micromanaging you. Work from the cafe or go home, change into your underpants, lock yourself in your bedroom and start cranking them out at your own pace.
  • A freelance writing position with a reputed media outlet is good to all those who are looking to achieve work-life balance.
  • A freelance writer with better-paying gigs will be able to cut their work schedule down to say 25 to 30 hours per week, freeing up a lot of time for other important things in life.
  • A freelance career allows people to spend time on their hobbies, volunteering in between work assignments and other commitments.
  • More good things: You do get to pick the work you want to do. You can drop the copywriting work if it has become too redundant of late and focus more on magazine articles if that is where your interest lies. Further, if your hands are full and you think of turning much of the work away, you are free to choose what to work on and what to turn down.

But there is more to freelance writing than you think. Yes, there are a few downsides you need to understand.

  • There’s the pay- not all freelance writes make as much as they would like. The income is not always stable to fall back on. Word rates that publishing companies and media agencies pay freelance writers have not gone up, budgets are no more attractive, and more importantly, potential media outlets that used to offer work to freelance writers are shutting shops.
  • Secondly, things don’t happen at a fast pace. You may not land lucrative assignments from high-paying editorial agencies as soon as you become a freelance writer. In this field, one things lead to another so you have to be patient enough until things take off.

A freelance writer that I know stumbled onto a website called thepensters where many contributors were needed. Though she wanted to pursue a freelance career, she had no experience to show. However, she figured an English major should have no trouble stringing two sentences together. She did not get as many gigs as she’d have liked to, but after some shaky weeks, she started to take home a decent income as a freelance writer. Another freelance writer started out at thepensters picking up the odd contract of freelance academic writing on top of his regular 9-to-5 job at a copywriting agency, and there’s no looking back. He says he enjoys being able to do what he wants to do, and it is certainly useful to not to have to commit to anything. A surge in demand for writing talent and broadband ubiquity have actually colluded well to make freelance career a very feasible option for such writers.

Ask any freelance veteran about their freelance career they would say it is not perfect. A freelance writer job is not the best in the world. However, even with all those negative points, for someone who loves to write and loves to be their own commander-in-chief, this is a pretty good job.

Sadly, such jobs do not come along easily.


The World of a Freelance Writer — 1 Comment

  1. Getting started seems to be the hardest part, as you say “one things lead to another…” but you need that ‘one thing’ to get the ball rolling.

    The freedom sounds pretty good though!

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