What is writing?
According to Wikipedia, writing is a medium of human communication that represents language and emotion through the inscription or recording of signs and symbols.
If you can do this well, there are people who will pay you for it, since not everyone can or even wants to write.
You don’t need to be JK Rowling in order to make a living from your writing.
You’d think that being an excellent writer would go hand in hand with being a good freelance writer, right?
Well, it isn’t really that simple. You don’t need to be Stephen King or JK Rowling in order to make a living from your writing. Heck, you don’t even need to have English as your first language.
What you do need is perseverance. Perseverance is what will get you through the times you don’t feel like you’re good enough to be a writer.
Of course, if you want to be a writer then you do need to know how to write. How do you think people become great in the first place? They become great by DOING.
Four Things You DON’T Need, to Be a Great Freelance Writer
1. A Degree in Journalism
I don’t understand why so many people believe that they need to have a degree or qualification of some kind, in order to make a living from their writing. You don’t even need to have made it through high school.
2. The Writing Skill of Ernest Hemingway
The truth is, no one really cares if you’re a technically good writer, when you write for the web. Your technical ability to write is actually secondary when it comes to creating content.
3. Really Fast Fingers
Okay, fair enough, you will need to be decently fast at typing, but you don’t have to know how to touch-type. You’ll become faster with practice anyway.
4. A Fancy Computer and Software
Although, I would suggest a desktop PC with a mouse and keyboard over a laptop, you don’t need a monster of a machine.
All you need is something that works and a decent keyboard. If you have the money to spare, invest in an ergonomic keyboard. You also don’t need the latest and greatest writing software. If you don’t have the cash to fork out for the latest MS Office, download Microsoft Office Starter.
It’s free and although it doesn’t have all the features of the paid version, you will be able to get by with it.
So, I’ve gone over some of the things you really don’t need in order to make a living from your writing, let’s go over some of the things you do need.
What You DO Need to Make a Living from Your Writing
A Passion for Writing
Considering the fact that you’re probably going to be writing A LOT, you’ll want to have a certain amount of enthusiasm for writing.
I believe this is the most crucial part of being a successful freelance writer, but you don’t need to have been writing since you were six years old in order to be successful.
Basic Writing Ability
Like I said, you don’t need to be Ernest Hemingway, but you do need to be able to form words and string sentences together that make sense. There’s no point in writing, if no one can understand what it is that you’ve written.
Some resources to help improve your writing:
A Willingness to Learn
If you’re willing to learn what it takes to be successful in this business, you’re half way there. You may not be the best writer in the world, but if you’re willing to constantly learn and improve, you will get better.
Since you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder the whole time, making sure that you’re doing your job right, you’re going to have to do that yourself. Being able to keep yourself in check is crucial to your success.
The most important thing to remember is to design a structure that you can live by and work by. Wake up at the same time and work at the same time. And make sure to create a balanced life since soo many freelancers struggle with stepping away from the laptop.
In order to make it in the world of freelance writing, you need to be apologetically tenacious. You need to be able to roll with the punches and never give up. This isn’t an easy career, but you can be successful, if you have the heart to go the distance.
This can be tough when you face rejection. You immediately think they don’t like you and that you’re not a good enough writer. But, in reality they either found a writer that was cheaper (which sucks for you since they don’t know the value writing has) or they found someone that was a better fit for their brand.
It had nothing to do with you as a person or even the quality of your writing. The successful writers know this and grow from this.
Are you the type of person who tries to understand everything around you? Well, you’re going to need that. The ability to ask the right questions and perceive things in different ways to most people, will serve you well.
Having the desire to always keep learning is important in the online world. Every month new tools crop up and old ones get a re-design.
If want to get paid to write, you’d better get used to writing. And the more you practice you craft, the better you’ll get and ultimately earn more for it.
Now that you have a better understanding of what you do and don’t need to be freelance writer, you can better decide if this is the right career for you.
The beauty of freelance writing though, is that if you’re not sure, you can always just give it a go with not many strings attached. If you don’t find it to your liking, that’s fine, but at least you’ll know.
If you do decide to go the route of being a full-time freelance writer, I want you to know that you definitely can do this.
As long as you can write in a way that people want to read what you’ve written, and find it valuable, you can do this.
“Good” and “bad” are subjective. If someone out there wants to read what you’ve written, your writing is good!
If you have a passion for writing, you can write in a way that people understand, and enjoy, you have what it takes to make a living from this.
Writing is not the easiest way to make money, but it can be very rewarding. It’s also a very good feeling knowing that you’re adding value to some-one else’s life through your words.
Whether you’re writing fiction, copy, blog content or articles, as long as someone wants to read what you’ve written and finds your writing valuable, you can get paid for it.
In the end, creating something of value from nothing (which is exactly what writing is), is no easy task. If you can do this though, the sky’s the limit.
So, what’re you waiting for? Start writing!