Want To Write Full-Time?
Lots of writers dream of making a living writing full-time … Maybe you want a career where you can both support your family and make your own rules?
You might be dreaming of a job where you can set your own hours, choose your own clients, and depend on no one but yourself for your livelihood.
There’s no doubt about it, full-time freelance writing can fit the bill! But how do you actually make the leap into full-time freelance writing?
1) Make a Financial Plan
Whether you’ve already been gigging and have a client base established, or you’re starting from scratch, transitioning to full-time freelancing means planning for lean times. You have to have a strategy for keeping yourself and your family afloat as you’re getting your business going.
This is even more important right now, in the midst of the Covid crisis. Late in October, the UK government announced the extension of various financial relief programs for businesses and individuals designed to help get the population through COVID.
One such programme is the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme that offers grants of £2500 per month. The scheme has been extended into 2021. (Unfortunately, you must have filed tax returns for three years before you qualify. Always check the fine print!).
At the same time, in order to maximise your budget, live for a time like you’re broke. Put put every spare dime you can into savings if you can.
Don’t forget to budget for those added expenses that come with freelancing too, like buying your own health insurance (if you’re in the US!) and paying for your own equipment and reliable, high-speed internet.
2) Find Your Niche and Get Connected
The fact is, full-time freelance writing isn’t as cut and dried as it may seem. In 2018 alone, there were an estimated 123,000 writing jobs in the US. There were also over 900 freelance writing job postings in the UK on LinkedIn just in November of this year.
This might seem like good news, but not all writing jobs are created equal.
Getting the good gigs means figuring out where your interests and your strengths lie and then marketing yourself for that particular genre. Research job boards and professional organisations dedicated to your specific area of interest, whether it’s journalism, content or technical writing, blogging, travel writing, or anything in between!
3) Claim Your Writing Space
If you’re going to be writing full-time for a living, then just sitting down with your laptop anywhere there’s a clear space isn’t going to cut it. It’s imperative that you designate a dedicated workspace, one that is set up both to inspire and center you.
You’ll need a home office with good lighting and reliable internet access. And if you can spruce things up with some nice green plants and decor that makes you feel comfortable and happy, you’re going to be more creative and more productive as you sit down to churn out your latest masterpiece. MORE: 3 Best Ways To Organise Your Writing Office
4) Know How to Sell Yourself
If you’re building a writing career, you have to know how to sell yourself to prospective clients. This is true even if you’re ghostwriting and don’t yet have impressive bylines to point to.
Create your own freelance writing portfolio with some of your best writing “clips.” Hang onto a hard copy of your portfolio to present at meetings, but don’t underestimate the importance of having your own website featuring some of your best work.
If you’re ghostwriting, however, you’ll need to make sure you’re contractually permitted to display your ghostwritten pieces in your online and print portfolio.
Since freelance writing full-time is all about the hustle, always keep plenty of business cards with your website address on hand to pass out to new and prospective clients.
A full-time freelance writing career isn’t always easy. There’s a tremendous amount of responsibility involved in being your own boss. But with a bit of strategy, a dash of luck, and a whole lot of creativity and commitment, you can find yourself living the dream life, making a prosperous living doing what you love.
You just have to …
- Make a plan
- Get connected
- Set up your space and
- Learn how to sell yourself and your unique voice
Just like the pro that you are!
BIO: Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics, and spends most of her free time in her garden.