Weekly Writing Tips

Living, Writing, and Musing: Confessions of a Freelance Writer

Despite the passage of time and the advent of cool technology, most of us still dream of being a traditional, salt-of-the-earth writer. After all, didn’t someone famous mention that we all have a great novel in us waiting to be written? Why become an accountant or space astronaut when you can grow a two-week-old beard and sip on a cold beer by the beach while penning down the Greatest Novel of All Time?

The Road Not Taken

The funny thing about us humans is that while we admire the spontaneous and quirky, most of us prefer safety and routine over change. While both lifestyles carry merit, it should be noted that any form of freelance work, be it modelling, acting, writing or painting will carry a certain amount of risk. This means that unless you become a really, really successful writer, your freelance paycheque probably won’t be enough to cover rent and your very own Hermès Birkin Bag.

Despite having a healthy amount of interest and respect for writers, many are also convinced that writing is an innate talent bestowed to a select few. The truth is that while it may be true that one should be fairly competent in the written language, good writing truly comes from within, which is great as we are all fairly unique, to begin with. With due diligence and hours of practice, fluid sentences and poetic words will soon surface on paper. In truth, writers are self-made and are the product of resilience and determination. Whenever someone mentions that they would have never thought of writing something, it just means that they haven’t had the right idea yet.

A Race Against the Clock

In the real world, we live in a society where praise and envy are both heaped on successful individuals such as Mark Zuckerberg who became the world’s youngest billionaire at age 23. Despite the romantic implications to choosing the profession of a writer, you should be forewarned that the same urgency to become successful seemingly overnight does not really go away. At the same time, one should also come to terms with the idea that true works of art require time to be cultivated so it can blossom to perfection.

Whenever you feel pressured to hurry along, do keep in mind that Joanne Rowling was suffering from depression and poverty at the age of 30 when she began writing her very first Harry Potter manuscript. While better off and with more experience, Suzanne Collins waited until the age of 46 to publish her very first widely successful Hunger Games novel as well.

How to Make the Cut

In a nutshell, anyone can take up the mantle of being a writer as we are all naturally born to be expressive and passionate. Having said that, writing a truly good piece requires plenty of hard work and it also involves bravely hurling yourself through periods of self-doubt and criticism. If you are a budding writer, do start small by taking on simple topics and article to write about. Take every piece of feedback seriously and make it a point to humbly improve yourself, even if you’ve already had years of experience in the industry. Make every day a day to learn something new and make use of online freelance writing tools such as Alistpress to help you gradually write faster every day.

While writing can get tough, it shouldn’t be a needless punishment you put yourself through every day. Do surround yourself with positive people and spend plenty of time finding inspiration to do better, one write up at a time. The task may sound scary and daunting (because it is!), but the end result at the end is truly gratifying.

How about you? Thoughts?