Over the past few years, there have been highs and lows. There have been absolutely manic periods and times where I’ve been looking for any type of work to cure my boredom.
I’ve had to make sacrifices, but I’ve benefited massively. I’ve cursed the job just as much as I’ve said it’s the best role in the world.
There’s little doubt that being a freelance writer means you have to be versatile and willing to change regularly and I’m happy to say that since I started, I’ve rolled with whatever has been thrown at me. I’ve got through the bad and enjoyed the good.
I’ve always thought that this is just something everyone can do. As humans, I naturally thought we could all live the life of a freelance writer, but that – just like with any career – only certain people choose to do so.
But I also genuinely thought that everyone could be a freelance writer in terms of writing a blog post or press release and it wasn’t until relatively recently that I realised I actually took my skills for granted.
And I’ve come to realise that I think I’ve taken my mentality as a freelance writer for granted, too.
I’m not saying we’re a special bunch and that only a tiny amount of the population could be a freelance writer, but I think it’s important to understand – particularly for new writers – that it takes something a little different to succeed.
You have to be able to adjust your approach on every level from annually right through to daily. For example, you could get an urgent piece of work in that means you’ve got to do an all-nighter to get it finished, but similarly you’ve got to struggle with the periodic dip in work that’s seen at various points throughout the year (such as that in January).
You need to plan your diary often by the hour, but also by the month, working out what needs to be done by what time, giving you enough leeway to make any amendments before the piece goes to press.
You also must feel confident that you’re able to wear half a dozen hats at once. Sure, your writer hat might be the one you’re always wearing, but you need to also be a marketer, consultant, salesperson and accountant on a regular basis, too.
I know every career has its difficulties – and its particular positives – but I feel that a lot of them can be expected. From my experience with freelance writing, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected – things change so regularly and often so considerably that if you don’t have the right mental approach, you could very easily have your hard work begin to crumble at your feet.
Whether you’re a new or experienced freelance writer, do you find that you’re different to your colleagues who work in other industries? What makes you stand apart from them and do you think they could do what you’re doing?