If you’ve been considering freelance writing, have you ever thought of the reason? Have you considered that freelance writing is a very risky business, that it’s often difficult to get paid well until you’ve been doing it for some time, and have you considered the fact that you may fail? When I started freelancing, I knew all of these things but it didn’t stop me. That’s because I felt I had this ‘need’ to write. It was the writing bug and I had to scratch it. So for me, freelancing wasn’t a choice. Is it for you?
A Risky Business
When you start out freelancing, you may have one or two income streams. You may write for an article writing service, or you may be lucky enough to get one or more private clients. And these may sustain you for a while. However, what happens if something happens to one or more of those income streams? What if your one private client decides to close his business or, worse, hire another writer instead? What will you do then? If that happens, and that was your only source of income, you’ll be stuck like Chuck with no money coming in. And bills do not stop coming in just because you lost your only client.
A Freelancer’s Salary
When you first start out, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to command high freelancing rates for your work. That means your salary likely won’t be very high for the first few months or even the first few years. Can you live on a lean income when you’re first starting out? After all, freelancing is a business and most businesses start out with little to no money coming in for at least three years. Can you live like that? If not, you may have to consider freelancing part time until you are able to command enough of a salary to quit your day job like I did.
You May Fail
Finally, there are a hundred things that can go wrong. You can lose a client, a client can decide not to pay you, your only computer could malfunction or break, you could lose your internet connection, or you could even suffer an injury that left you unable to write. I didn’t consider that last one until my mentor broke her wrist and was unable to write. She was forced to dictate the words to her mother until it healed.
This isn’t meant to scare anyone into not following their dreams. And I’m certainly not doing it to try and thwart the competition. Like I said, there is plenty of freelancing work to be had, and plenty of money to be made. I simply want every freelancer to be realistic about this business we’re in. Anything can happen and for that you must be prepared if that “anything” does happen.
But that’s how it is anywhere in life. Even at a ‘real job’, the building could burn down, clients could be lost, etc. As long as you’re realistic about what this business entails, and you think you have what it takes, and you have that writing bug that just needs to be scratched, then get your resume and your writing samples together and go out and find work. You’ll soon see, like I did, that freelance writing beats any other ‘job’ out there.