Want to be a freelance writer? Better get your finances in order first…
We all dream of being able to just walk out of the day job one fine morning, and walk right into a comfortable freelance writing business. A tip? It’s not going to happen. As with any business, when you start out as a freelance writer, it will take time to build your reputation, acquire a solid client base and have enough steady work coming in every month to stop you worrying about paying the bills.
Paying the bills. It’s the one big obstacle that prevents many talented writers going freelance. You see, freelance writing isn’t what you’d call a stable career. Some month you may do really well: you’ll have money to burn and the not a worry in the world. Other months? Other months you won’t be quite so flush.
It’s hard to adjust to a freelance career if you’re used to a steady income. It can be really tough when you don’t know where next month’s mortgage is coming from. Sometimes it can be so tough that the worry will break you: you’ll stop thinking about how to find those freelance writing jobs and start wondering whether your old employer will have you back.
Those kind of circumstances aren’t exactly conducive to productive writing. That’s why I strongly recommend that you don’t start a freelance writing business unless you have enough money in the bank to see you through at least six months of mortgage, groceries and other bills – even if you make nothing.
If you don’t have those kind of savings and you don’t want to wait, then I recommend one of two thing:
1. Start your freelance writing business without leaving your dayjob.
Yes, that means working evenings and weekends. No, it won’t be fun. But it will get the bills paid, and until your business is making enough each month for you to give up the day job altogether, it’ll do.
2. Go part time - at least umtil you’re making enough from freelancing to cover your part-time salary.
Of course, you could ignore all of this advice and just start freelancing anyway. That’s what I did. And that’s why I’m recommending that you make sure you have some security behind you before you make that leap.