Freelance? Me?


I won’t lie. I want to make money out of this writing lark. I’m sure many people do, as I’m sure many people actually do. But can I?

There in lies the question at the heart of the matter. There are a few concerns I shall list below that are at the forefront of my mind whenever I ponder this subject.

1) Do I have the motivation to stick to a given deadline? I really don’t know. If the frequency of my blog posts is anything to go by then you would be forgiven for thinking that the answer is no. And yet, I write an awful lot behind the scenes and 90% of the dribble I do churn out is just sitting on my pc’s hard drive. I tell myself that maybe one day it might make interesting reading but in reality it probable won’t. I am a victim of today’s fast society. Everything must be now now now. I need instant gratification. If I start reading something that hasn’t got me hooked within the first few lines then I’m gone. It hurts to say that because I know how hard it is to write. To spend hours crafting something, rewriting countless sentences and re-reading paragraph after paragraph – you don’t need someone like me deciding it’s not worth the effort after reading your first line. Perhaps I’m missing out. Maybe. Or maybe I’m saving time for those writers who know how to grasp my attention.

2) Talent. Quite simply, do I have any? How do you gauge this? I could (and have in the past) give my work to my friends or family to see what they think. But what are they really going to say? It’s doubtful they’ll be rude or harsh in their critique, just as its likely they’ll come back with something nice to say about it. They won’t be impartial and because of that fact, anything they say wont mean a damn because you just never really know what it is they really think. So what do you do? My personal thought on this is to not give anything you value to friends or family. Instead, send something you love equally out to the competitions. Let the public be the judge. I have a few bits and pieces on another website right that are doing quite well. A short story I wrote while smashed off my face a year back is still ranked number one in its particular category. Yet, when I re-read that piece I cringe. It’s grammar is appalling and I clearly didn’t proof read it before submitting but there you go. I guess maybe even if it looks bloody awful (and it really does), the underlying story still somehow shone through the shite. It never ceases to amaze me what people really like.

3) Were my fortune to change and I managed to sell something, or several bits and pieces…. How much would I have to sell before I actually made enough to live off? I’m not in this for mega money. I’d just like to be able to get up, not bother getting dressed, sit in my study and paint with words all day whilst not having to worry about how to pay the bills. That’s not too much to ask is it?

4) Where do I find the writing jobs people say are everywhere? How do you break into writing for tv or role play gaming?

5) Where the hell is the writing oracle who knows all the answers to my noob questions??????

Well there you have it. I know I’m not alone, and that there are 100000000000 of you wannabe writers out there but I just thought this post might strike a chord with some. We travel a lonely road but maybe someone reading this has seen the off ramp somewhere and might throw a few sign posts up? Then again, maybe that’s why the road is lonely. If its that hard to get to where you want to be… Maybe you feel nobody should have an easy time of it. I mean, if you worked as hard as I am right now to get where you are, are you really going to let someone else in who hasn’t put in the time? I’d be interested to know any thoughts people may have.

4 responses to “Freelance? Me?

  1. Writing is easy. Any swinging dick who can string a few sentences together can call themselves a writer, but that’s not what you want, is it.?You want to be a ‘published writer’, you want the respect and acclaim of others…..but most of all, you want their money.

    If people are willing to pay to read your work, then it follows that they like it. There are millions of aspiring writers, but only a very small group ever make it to the magic status of ‘published author’. I applaud your effort and dedication. Keep plugging away, keep dreaming up ideas, but most of all, keep writing. After all, you may have to keep me in my dotage, and it would help considerably if you were minted.

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  2. Writing for a deadline imposed by someone else is a lot different than writing for yourself. Sometimes, I set my own deadlines for myself, but I never seem to follow through. I have to have some sort of accountability, even if it’s just with a friend or an online community. To see if you can do it, why not set yourself a deadline on your blog? Tell everyone what you’re going to write, and how long you’re giving yourself to finish it and then post it. See if you can come through for your readers. You would probably be even less likely to miss a deadline for publication, since there is money and a little bit of fame involved. Although, I must admit, it is a whole lot harder for me to sit down and write when I feel like it’s something I *have* to do. I try too hard to edit as I go along, and sometimes I just don’t want to get started at all. But I’ve never missed a deadline yet. I start early enough before it’s due to give me quite a bit of wiggle room.
    As far as asking for a critique on your work, why not join a writers’ group? Locally or online. They’re all there for the same reason, to find out what people *really* think about what they write.

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  3. Hi there,

    Thanks for your comments. I completely agree with what you say about accountability. A little pressure is always a good thing in my book. I’ll give some writing groups a look too. Why not? Could be fun.

    Like

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