3 Reasons Fiction Writers Should Consider Freelancing

#76 - Mannequin Artist Do you toil away at a day job you don’t like to pay bills while fantasizing about a career as a novelist? Do you daydream about working from home and being able to sit at your computer all day–without your boss hovering over you to make sure you get the work done? Freelance writing might be the solution.

Even if you love your day job and don’t want to become a full time freelance writer, it’s a good idea to try your hand at freelance writing. For one thing, you’ll notice people think of you differently when you tell them you’ve actually gotten paid to write before. It’s frustrating because every great novel took years to write, but people don’t take you seriously if you’re not published.

Still, it only takes a handful of publications to get a different look when you tell people “I’m a writer”.

Not convinced? Here are three other benefits fiction writers can gain from freelance writing:

1. Confidence– knowing that people are willing to pay you to write blog posts, web copy or magazine articles can give you the necessary confidence booster to finally send your novel into the world. Every time you pitch an article it gets a little bit easier. Every time you get paid to write, you start thinking of yourself as a writer. Freelance writing cements the idea that you are a writer who will be successful.

2. Earn money in the meantime– writing a novel takes a long time. Editing it takes longer. Finding a publisher can take years–and then you have to edit all over again. While you won’t start making money as a freelancer five minutes from now, you’ll definitely be earning money as a freelance writer before you make anything as a novelist. Even a small amount of income helps make life easier and validate your dream of being a professional writer.

3. Learn to work with an editor– when you finally get that publishing contract, you’ll need to work with an editor. Even when you’re consciously aware of the benefits editing provides, it can be difficult to deal with criticisms on a novel you’ve spent months or years working on. Make the process easier by learning how to work with an editor. It might not compare to the edits you’ll go through working with a publisher, but knowing how a professional relationship between a writer and editor works can save you a lot of heartache.

Freelancing isn’t easy, but it’s a worthwhile experience for every fiction writer. You’ll gain valuable skills in writing, marketing and networking and even earn some money while you’re at it. If you decide you want to pursue writing as a freelance career, you might find yourself working in your pajamas every day years before you get that first novel published.

Have you done any freelance writing? What have your experiences been like?