What’s your dream job?
If you could have any career you wanted, what would it be? Think for a moment and don’t worry how you would achieve it. Just Imagine a magic wand being waved and immediately, you have that new occupation – and it’s a successful one. My choice would be a freelance writer, what would yours be?
Pose that question to a group of children and the replies you get will be the stuff dreams are made of – Pilots, Ballerinas, Pop Stars, Actors and Sportspeople to name a few. Grown-ups, on the other hand, will nearly always pause before they answer. Many will even struggle to provide a reply.
When a colleague asked me the same question, my response was instant – I said I’d like to be a writer. I won my first competition at the age of 13 and would often write for fun but as I grew to adulthood, I slowly stopped writing creatively. I always wanted to take it up again and feared the old adage that says “use it or lose it.” However, I have since learned that this is not strictly true. Sure, you can be out of practice with a particular skill, but it’s never really lost. Has anyone forgotten how to swim or drive? Having said that, if the special talent is never again utilized, it may lay dormant and remain that way, rather sadly, until death – a terrible thought!
At times, circumstances would require me to write a letter. A few years ago I found myself in disagreement with a company over a product and service that I’d purchased from them. The firm apologized for their shortfall and offered to return some of my money. Before confirming my acceptance, I asked a lawyer friend for advice, to which he replied that I should take their offer. I wrote a well structured letter which I sent to the company. This resulted in a further offer of nearly three times the original amount!
I once applied for a job, the required prerequisites of which I didn’t possess. However, I got an interview and in turn, an offer of employment. The person in charge of recruiting for the position later told me that my cover letter stood out from the other candidates and caught his attention.
Writing for a living
It was situations like the two mentioned above that sparked my interest in learning to write for a living. Looking around, I found a home study course in creative writing which suited my lifestyle perfectly. Having a full-time job and two small children to provide for, being able to study at home and in my spare time, was a huge benefit.
I’m mid-way through the course and I’ve had three pieces accepted for publication, which I’m told is good going for a novice. What I am also finding out is that becoming a successful writer is hard work. Yes, I have had some success very early on and have made an excellent start. However, if I decided to give up the day job now, I’d probably lose my home!
A friend told me that of all the people in the world pursuing the arts – musicians, writers, poets and artists – less than one percent of them make a living from their creativity. A lady, who once had a career in publishing, told me that work from unknown writers was frequently rejected without even being looked at by the editors!
Becoming a successful freelance writer will take a lot of drive and determination – you’ll need it to deal with the rejection letters, which all writers receive at some time. Developing the skills and gaining the experience required to make money from your work will take practice, time and patience.
About the Author:
The good news is that the internet offers many opportunities for new writers to begin earning from their prose right away. So, while you’re preparing that Hollywood screenplay, visit http://thepaidwriter.net and see if there’s anything there that can help you kick start your career as a freelance writer.