Notes From a Hired Pen

Step right up and get your freelance advice

Last week, Marie from Cheaper than Therapy sent me a link to post about how to freelance write. I knew based on her use of smiley faces that she knew it would send me into a tizzy.

This blogger wrote a post about how to be a freelance writer because, apparently, making enough cash to cover her monthly utility bill made her an expert. One gem she told her readers: volunteer their writing services for a year.

I’ve seen a lot of bad freelance writing advice, often written by people are are dabbling in it, or give advice while saying that it sucks and isn’t a viable career, or, yes, make enough to pay their utility bill (mine last month was $37.89).

If I wanted to be a gymnast, I wouldn’t read a blog by someone who just learned how to walk on the balance bar. I’d want to read the blog by someone who is a gymnast for a living, or a coach. Likewise, if you want to be a freelancer, I hope that you seek advice from someone who’s been at it for a few years, loves the job, and makes a good living doing it.

For June, I’m writing a blog post a day about being a hired pen. I’ve been freelancing since 2002, full time since 2005. This is my only source of income. There is no spouse or partner to back me up financially, so this income pays for every single part of my life – and that includes funding retirement accounts. In my best year, I brought in six figures. In my worst, the high fives. I love my job, despite the hurdles of self employment taxes, unsteady income and checks that sometimes never seem to be paid on time. I don’t know of any other job where I can work at home in my sweatpants with my dog by my side, and one that allows me to delve into subjects that fascinate me, and then write about them for you to read.

The month will be a mix of advice, experiences, silliness, and your questions (got one? Hit up my contact form.) I also just signed a contract with a literary agency and will be revising my book proposal to get ready to send to publishers this fall (though if you’re a book publisher and want to talk to my agent now, hit that contact link), so there may be some book posts thrown in too.

I’m doing this as part of the Freelance Success/Word Count Blogathon, so if your interest is in something other than freelancing, check out the list of who else will be writing about what.

If freelancing is stay tuned. It’ll be an interesting month.

Housekeeping note: I won’t be posting every one of these to Twitter, but I will to my Facebook account.

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2 Responses to “Step right up and get your freelance advice”

  1. John says:

    I’m so glad you pointed me to this event. I’m up for the challenge. Even started an editorial calendar to make planning a little smoother. I am also glad that you started out with an intro about the program. I did the same and feel a bit more validated.
    Thanks for your encouraging words. And yes for your writing .

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