I recently landed my first freelance writing gig. I decided to share how I did it to help other aspiring writers. The fact that I’m only a few steps ahead of those starting out, and many steps behind others, makes it more relatable. It makes it more tangible. It makes you realise that your writing dream – or any dream for that matter – is well within your grasp.
I’ve found that there are a plenty of resources online that will give you the step by step process of how you can land your first writing gig. What many of these fail to include is the mindset that is needed as you embark on your journey.
I’ve then decided to divide this blog post into a
two-part series: three part series.
- Part 1: Five questions you should ask yourself before embarking on your freelance writing journey.
- Part 2: Foundation needed before searching for jobs and pitching.
- Part 3: Searching for jobs and pitching to client
Now onto the five questions, you should be asking yourself.
#1 Do you believe in yourself?
If someone like myself who has a background in marketing, having worked for a startup and having backpacked solo for an extensive period of time, can change his course, then you can to.
You just have to believe in yourself. Once you believe in yourself, you can start taking action and move forward, one step at a time.
#2 Are you committed?
Luke-warm simply isn’t good enough.
Consider these words by Roald Dahl as he refers to his uncle Arnold:
“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
―Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald
In October last year I set myself the challenge of landing my first writing gig . And what happened in the months thereafter? Nothing. Why? Because I took no action. It was a luke-warm endeavour. I think this stemmed from a lack of belief outlined earlier. Much has changed since then. I believe. I’ve taken action. And I’m committed.
You need to be committed to this. You need to truly want it.
#3 Why do you want to write?
“Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life.”
This couldn’t be truer. Tie what you want to a deep meaningful goal or picture the lifestyle you want to live.
I have a dream of being self-employed. I want to be location independent. I want to be able to travel and work. I want to live and work on my terms and have control over how and when I work. All this whilst making an impact on people’s lives. Freelance writing ties in nicely with the deep meaningful goal of being self-employed and a lifestyle of freedom.
What lifestyle do you want to create? What deep meaningful goal do you have?
Understand your why; the reason behind everything you do. Remind yourself of this regularly when things get tough. This will reduce your chances of quitting.
#4 Can you actually write?
The truth of the matter is, some people simply cannot write. Period. Ever seen those people who turn up on Idols or X-Factor because they have a dream to become a singer, but cannot sing, at all? Sure you have.
Consider this carefully before you pursue this avenue. If you are not sure, start writing and share your articles with people who will give you constructive criticism. Be careful of friends and family, as their opinions might be biased.
#5 Do you enjoy writing?
Often people like the idea of something, and what it can offer them, but once they start the journey they realise it was just the idea that appealed to them, nothing more.
So be a kid again and just do something for the sake of doing it. Test the waters. Start writing to see if you enjoy it. Write for yourself. And if you don’t like it, you have lost nothing. You have one more thing you know you don’t enjoy. And you can now move on to the next thing.
Are you an aspiring freelance writer? Are there any other questions I have missed?