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How can I Become a Freelance Writer?

By Bronwyn Harris
Updated May 17, 2024
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Many people dream of working from home, and others aspire to write for a living. The job of freelance writer seems to be the perfect way to combine the two. However, in your search to become a freelance writer, don't forget to take practical matters into account. To be able to work primarily as a writer takes a lot of time and dedication, and quite a bit of luck, or being in the right place at the right time.

If you are looking to become a freelance writer, the most important thing you can do is to write. We all know that practice makes perfect, and you can't get good at something if you don't do it. Taking a writing course can be helpful, but so can keeping a journal or a blog, or writing essays or stories. Get family members or friends to read your writing and give you feedback. This can be quite scary, so make sure you pick trustworthy people. However, they also need to be able to be honest, as not telling you about your shortcomings as a writer won't help you.

Write about everything that you can find, not just what you like to write about. If you don't have time to take a class, try an online class. Looking for writing tutors in your area can help you prepare to become a freelance writer as well, since they can give you personal attention. Check out your local newspaper and write an essay for their opinion section, or write a letter to the editor.

As with any new career, it is important to network and find connections when you wish to become a freelance writer. If you know someone who writes for a living, ask them about it. If you know editors, ask them how they choose writers. Check online groups for writers, check job listings, and post your availability on bulletin boards. Use every possible connection you can think of.

Anyone who has managed to become a freelance writer understands that you must be disciplined about it. You cannot write when you feel like it or you're not going to get very far. Set a schedule. Figure out when you will get up, when you will write and when you will take breaks, and stick to it! Get someone to help keep you accountable if you need help.

Finally, have patience. Your desire to become a freelance writer may be tested by your discouragement, but, as with anything, it can take a while. Don't quit your day job yet, and keep writing! Persistence and patience pays off.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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